CampusParc earned mixed reviews from commuters in its first month due to its policy of using license plate recognition software to patrol Ohio State campus lots.
CampusParc began scanning the license plates of cars parked in campus lots to determine which vehicles were parked legally in August. The institution of the license plate recognition software removed the necessity for the parking hangtags used in past years, David Hoover, communications director for CampusParc, said.
The decision to use license plate recognition software was part of a $2.4 million technology makeover that the company began when it took over day-to-day parking operations in September 2012, Hoover said.
Hoover said since that time, it has been the company’s goal to be as effective and efficient as possible in managing parking.
“As new methods of managing permits emerge, we want to take advantage of them,” Hoover said. “This just represents the latest technology.”
CampusParc issued 3,556 citations to illegally parked cars in August, compared to 4,241 citations issued in August 2011, a more comparable year due to construction and necessity for CampusParc employees to fulfill other responsibilities in 2012, OSU Administration and Planning spokeswoman Lindsay Komlanc said.
While some commuters said the change has not bothered them, others expressed slight apprehension toward moving away from the previous parking system.
Second-year in civil engineering Luke Joachim, who has a West Campus parking pass, said not having a hangtag to display from the rearview mirror might pose problems for a commuter who cannot use his or her registered car and must use another.
“Now you have to register the plates of every car you drive,” Joachim said. “Most people don’t drive multiple cars, but there are people that do, so it can be an issue.”
Though commuters have been stripped some freedom to swap vehicles, permit holders may register up to three license plates at one time and update this information online at any time.
Commuter Sarah Nickell, a member of OSU religious group h2o’s off-campus leadership team, shares a parking pass with her husband. She said she was indifferent to the change but likes not having to worry about hanging a parking pass in her window.
“I don’t know how much of a difference it makes,” said Nickell. “I think that it’s nicer this way, but the other system was fine too.”
The Board of Trustees voted to lease OSU’s parking operations to QIC Global Infrastructure in June 2012 for a 50-year contract. The $483 million deal with the Australia-based investment company gave it control over operations of campus parking garages, lots and permit sales. CampusParc began managing the day-to-day parking systems in September 2012.