It isn’t unusual for disgruntled students to complain to administration about parking issues. No matter how many parking lots, garages, or structures universities have, somehow there are always insistent students who assert that there’s simply no where to park.
But it isn’t quite so often that students approach parking administrators, thankful and grateful for the parking system the school has put in place. And perhaps even more rare is a student body that is so enthusiastic about a parking system, they volunteer to fund more of them on their own.
But at one Texas university, that’s exactly what happened.
A Familiar Parking Challenge
The challenge at Baylor University in Waco, TX began as many do on campuses across the country. The university has 5 garages with 11,000 parking spaces, sufficient for its student body. Yet students were still having trouble finding parking spots.
As on many campuses, students often arrived in a hurry to get to class on time. They didn’t have the extra time to search multiple lots until they finally found somewhere to park. They wanted a smart parking system that could help them find available spots quickly and efficiently. But while the university wanted to meet student needs, they didn’t have the budget to invest in a costly parking counting system.
A Novel Approach
Baylor purchased an OpenSpace system for one of their campus parking garages to test if it was a solution that could fit their needs. Unlike traditional parking guidance, OpenSpace uses sensors only at ingress and egress points. The result is a solution that’s as accurate as any other (even more accurate than most) but at a much lower price point.
The OpenSpace platform shares data on LED signage and offers the ability to share parking data right on the school website and app. A robust backend lets parking officials analyze parking data for better informed decision making.
And unlike other systems they had looked at, OpenSpace required no digging or structural changes, and didn’t even require them to shut the lot down. At the much lower price point and without compromising on any bells or whistles, it sounded like the perfect answer to their student parking troubles. But they wanted to test it out to see if it was really all that it promised. What happened next was even more unexpected than finding a system so aligned with their needs.
An Even More Novel Response
Baylor had been hoping to minimize, or even eliminate, student complaints. Instead, their students were actually enthused with the new system. They loved that they could see availability data right where they needed it and that they could find parking in the lot equipped with OpenSpace so fast. They also appreciated that they knew when the lot was full so they could go look elsewhere. But they wanted more OpenSpace systems in place so that they could be guided to exactly where parking was available when some lots were full.
The student government at Baylor volunteered to use $20,000 of their discretionary funds to help purchase additional OpenSpace systems for three more of the campus garages. Students can now find parking quickly and simply using OpenSpace as a guide.
Wondering if OpenSpace is right for your campus? Use the lull between semesters to find out! Fill out the form on the right and we’ll get in touch with you to help you explore OpenSpace and all it offers.