Pay by Cell Replaces Gates, Permits on Campus.


Pay by Cell Replaces Gates, Permits on Campus.

I was in a meeting yesterday and one of those present said “I heard a rumor up in Canada that pay by cell would take over how parking is done on college campuses.”

I nodded sagely. I had heard the same, but in Australia. The idea that students, staff, and faculty would use an app to pay for parking and then only be charged for the time they actually parked was alive and well down under. I was told it was easy. Everyone loved it (cost less than a regular permit) AND it freed up parking so there were many more spaces than those on the waiting lists. What was not to like?

Of course, you have to have a bit of enforcement — you need a ALPR vehicle cruising around checking that people have in fact paid with their app, but what’s so hard about that? Think of all the gates, sensors, spitters, permits, signs, and the like that simply go away.

I was told by a pay by cell guy that people didn’t like these ‘open ended’ parking fees, since they forgot to turn them off. Australia told me that they had no, none, zero complaints. The rates are so small that it made little difference, plus students are for the most part born with a smart phone in their hands and turning off parking time was a no brainer.

Will it happen here in the lower 48 as it did in OZ and as rumor has it in the frozen north? Maybe not next week, Emily, but tell me why not soon?


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John Van Horn

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