Fall semester is underway and millions of students are back to the grind. But parking on college campuses can be more complicated than ever. After a few years of virtual and hybrid learning, most colleges are back to full time in-person learning. Which means that more students are driving to class each day- and looking for somewhere to park.
Parking on College Campuses
Parking at any large facility with multiple lots and garages (think your local mall or hospital) can be complicated. But college campuses present unique challenges. Students have weekly schedules that are consistent yet change based on the day and completely switch each semester. That means that the parking availability they come to expect on Monday mornings may be completely different for their Tuesday classes. And couple that with the importance of being on time and many students converging on the same lot and finding parking spaces can be a pretty stressful experience.
Parking at California State University (CSU) San Marcos
At CSU San Marcos, the same issues were presenting themselves as described above. With over 16,000 students enrolled and 8 parking lots and 2 indoor garages, the potential for every student to find a spot was there. But so was the potential for complete chaos. Students were complaining that there were no available parking spots while many of them were actually driving right by empty lots and only searching the full ones. The university needed a way to guide students to the spots that were actually empty, and away from the full lots that everyone seemed drawn to.
Essentially, the challenge wasn’t to improve the parking situation or create more parking areas, it was simply to guide drivers to available student parking that was already there.
A Smarter Way to Park
In search of a solution to their parking conundrum, CSU San Marcos discovered OpenSpace by Parking Logix. They had already been looking for a solution for a while and had received several price quotes. But OpenSpace cost less than ¼ of their other quotes with the same accuracy and data sharing capabilities. For CSU San Marcos, it was a no brainer.
They installed OpenSpace outside their parking lots, sharing parking availability data with students on digital signs. Students looking for parking can instantly see how many spots are available, and whether it might make more sense to try another lot instead. Signs are customized based on how many lots the school has and what kind of data they’d like to share.
The parking data is also instantly pushed to the school app so students can see which lots have the most availability before they even head out to school.
CSU San Marcos is so happy with the intuitive, affordable parking system that they’ve been sharing their find with other local campuses in California. They’re gratified with the ability to relieve the stress of students trying to find parking in time for class, and glad they were able to find such an affordable solution to their student parking challenges.