Paid parking meters replaced with user-friendly app

New signs added to replace parking meters outside Arbury Fine Arts Center. Students can now scan the QR code to pay for parking instead of a traditional meter. Vanguard Photographer | Ryan Pelletier

An email sent out by University Communications on Jan. 18 informed students that campus will now be using an app called ParkMobile in place of traditional parking meters.

Parking and Student Services Coordinator Cody Roy said that the old coin operated meters are no longer being serviced, which was a factor leading to the switch.

“One of the reasons we switched is because it took a substantial amount of time to empty the meters, up to five hours a week,” Roy said. “This added more time and work to the campus financial services [representatives] to both count and roll the coin that was pulled from those meters.”

Roy said cost was another reason the switch was made. “We also were having a fairly large expense being that the meters ran on 9v batteries that don’t hold up well in our cold [temperatures],” Roy said.

A big reason for the change was the app is more user friendly than the coin meters.

“We just really want to convey how much easier it is for customers faculty staff and students to utilize the app for parking without fumbling for change in the old pay by coin meters,” he said. “It is super user friendly and allows for extending time up and can be done from your phone without leaving class or your dorm.”

During the transition to new signs the old signs were covered with garbage bags. Vanguard Photographer | Ryan Pelletier

Roy said that users will be notified when there is 10 minutes left at their spot, and can easily extend their time via app.

The current time limit is two hours, however when that time is up, the app allows another two hour extension.

Roy said using the app is really like using any other shopping app available to you.

“It’s just like buying something on Amazon,” Roy said. “You register your license plate and pay in the app.”

The new system uses signs with numbers that can be entered in the app to pay. For the signs that have been put in visitor parking however, it is not required to pay for parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Currently visitors can obtain a parking pass in the Parking Services building.

However, the meters are hoped to replace the passes in the future.

Roy said they’ll be watching to see how members of the community respond to the new meters.

“We chose to keep everything the same as far as the spaces go for some consistency,” he said. “As we see how community members, students and staff, adjust to the spaces and gauge their approval ratings, we may choose to add or subtract spaces in the future.”

All metered areas are still required pay to park from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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