Campus shifts to phone-based parking payment

Parking just got a little more picky. kate thiessen

Out with the coins in with the tech

On Oct. 15, Student Affairs sent a campus-wide email announcing the shift to a pay-by-phone system for parking. The release, signed by Associate Vice President (Facilities Management) Neil Paskewitz, said the shift is meant to make parking easier to manage and increase in convenience.

“The new system utilizes Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) technology, which will allow the University to collect and analyse data that will assist us in improving how we deliver and manage our parking services. This is expected to lead to improved efficiency and higher rates of compliance and will make special event parking easier and more convenient.”

As noted by various media outlets, the switch away from parking meters, removing 400 that the campus says date back as early as the 1970s, mirrors that of the City of Regina’s downtown. According to the release, the process is simple.

“For convenience, a number of strategically located pay stations will accept coins as well.  There is also an option to pay for vehicle parking by smart phone by downloading the PayByPhone app available free from the Apple Store or Google Play. This preferred method is convenient, easy, and secure. It features options to receive expiry reminders, extend parking time remotely, and receive email receipts all through an iPhone or Android device. Whichever payment method is chosen, all that’s required is a licence plate number and the location code – which will be clearly marked near all parking lots and curbside public parking spaces.”

Permit holders, the administration have said, will not be affected as their license plates are already their tags.

Students are already paying a premium for their parking. An M (commuter pass at the U of R) will cost you up to $585.60 per year for M lot non plug spots. That option, being that it’s October, is waitlisted. For context, a similar pass at the University of Saskatchewan would cost you a maximum of $524.00 a year unless you wanted to park in the stadium parkade. If you want the privilege of parking near President Timmons in the underground parkade in the KHS building or in the Riddell Parkade, that will run you an eye-watering minimum of $960.00 for the eight months. Residents pay around five more dollars than our neighbours to the north, but the lots we compared for this story have a vast difference in the number that are electrified. The U of S has far more electrified options for far less cost to the student. Students at the U of R, despite getting  the UPass (allowing unlimited bus travel for current students) almost a decade after the U of S introduced theirs, pay $24.27 less per semester than students at the U of S.

And, because how can we have a campus story without wondering how the campus’ social media mavens (more obsessed with donations than they are with alumni award winners that aren’t campus lifers) have to say, here was their ever so helpful tweet.

“How the heck do you use the new pay-as-you-go #parking system at the #UofRegina anyway? It’s easy! Make your payment at one of the pay stations or with the@PayByPhone  NA app. Check out this handy dandy step-by-step #PayByPhone guide.

So, if you want to give more data to the U of R that they can then have a privacy breach with (see, the bookstore) use the campus parking app.

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