Helping Students Uncover Hidden Parking
A popular University in California with multiple student parking lots helps students find elusive parking spots each day with the OpenSpace parking guidance platform.
California State University San Marcos (CSU San Marcos) is an educational institution located in beautiful San Diego, CA. The forward-focused University is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking San Marcos. Over 16,000 students are enrolled at the school, which offers 43 bachelor majors, 24 master’s programs, and 8 credential programs.
With an enrollment of over 16,000 students, parking can be a challenge. At CSU San Marcos, 8 parking lots and 2 indoor garages have sufficient spots for students that drive to school. But many students were complaining that they couldn’t find anywhere to park. They were reporting that all the lots were full, while in fact many students were driving right by empty lots and only searching the full ones. The University knew there were many parking areas that were grossly underused. They needed a way to gather that data and share it with students so they could find available spots and avoid areas that were already full.
The University came across OpenSpace at a tradeshow and was instantly sold. OpenSpace cost a small fraction, less than ¼, of the other price quotes they had gotten. And it offered the same accuracy and data sharing capabilities they needed.
OpenSpace is a parking guidance system that counts available spots in single or multiple parking lots through smart sensors. Unlike other systems, it aggregates data from sensors only at entry and exit points instead of in each spot. The savings that creates instead of the prohibitively priced single sensor systems is then passed on to the customer.
OpenSpace data is constantly updated and can be shared in multiple ways. At CSU San Marcos, spot availability is displayed on digital signs outside the parking lots. In addition, parking availability data can be accessed on the school app. This gives students information on where they’re most likely to find parking before they even leave to school.
Installing OpenSpace is simple and intuitive. Unlike other systems that necessitate lot closures, OpenSpace can be fully installed in just a few hours.
Belinda Garcia, the Director of Parking and Commuter Services at CSU San Marcos noted that they’re really pleased with the accuracy of the OpenSpace system. As soon as a car drives over the sensor, the system immediately records the data. It has never required adjustment or recalibration.
She also noted that it’s helpful to have historic data to look back at for comparison use and in making parking related decisions for the school. But the biggest benefit has been to be able to share parking space availability in real time on signs and in the student app.
“The students appreciate being able to find spaces when they need to,” Ms. Garcia noted.
“We’ve actually talked to other campuses and organizations and sold them on Parking Logix too. The cost is less than a quarter of the price of other companies. It’s a great system and it helps us be financially responsible with the funds we’ve been entrusted with.”