If you’re like most universities, you have a parking department dedicated to keeping the parking process working smoothly. Your parking department is most likely dedicated to excellent customer service, maintains safe and clean parking facilities, manages the permitting process, coordinates special event parking, and maybe even promotes transportation alternatives such as bicycles or car sharing. So what can they be doing better? And why are students still frustrated?
Even the best managed college parking departments can only do so much on their own. Assuming your campus has ample parking in multiple lots, without parking guidance, students are likely still complaining that there isn’t enough parking. On campuses with more limited parking availability, frustration levels only escalate.
Why are they having such a hard time finding available spots?
Your students don’t know that lot D is often ignored and may all congregate on lots A and B. Those lots are probably the fastest to fill up and spaces there may be scant, but you still have somewhere for them to park. How do you stop them from wasting their time at full lots and redirect them to the ones with open spots?
Parking counting systems like OpenSpace gather real-time data on how many spots are available in each of your lots. That data is clearly displayed on variable message signs at the entrance of each of your lots. If students see that there are few or no spots available in the first lot they head for, they can save their time and drive right to the next one.
In addition to on-site availability display signs, you can integrate OpenSpace parking data with university apps or popular third-party parking apps. Students then know where parking spots are available before even leaving so that they are better prepared when they get there.
No matter how good your university’s parking department is, without parking guidance, there’s only so much they can do to keep students happy, parked, and in class on time. Parking counting can make the difference between an efficient parking department and a fantastic one.