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Virtual Parking Assignments

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | March 6, 2015 | No Comment |

Virtual Parking Assignment system brings less stress and greater efficiency.

In August 2014, the College’s ‘first-come, first-serve’ sale was the most stressful permit sale in the history of the College. The average wait time was over five hours and there will still several students left in line when Parking Services closed the door at the end of the day. Ill will toward Parking Services was rampant and the office took a beating on social media. The experience forced Sonya Allen, Manager of Parking Services, to an inevitable conclusion that they couldn’t continue to do business in that manner.


In September 2014, Allen began working with the technical support team from T2 (our parking software provider) to determine what needed to be done to implement online permit sales on a first-come, first-serve basis. The office was already using T2 for online permit sales, but the College’s normal online permit sale process is different in that it is managed through a wait list feature and permits are mailed directly to the customer in advance of the applicable term. Allen learned what settings needed to be adjusted in T2’s Admin Console to facilitate real-time online permit sales. She tested the process in the T2 test site until it was functioning the way she imagined it.

When 93 students had to be waitlisted to AG due to unforeseen permit demand, Allen recognized that the special sale of these 93 permits after the normal online permit sale had closed would be the perfect opportunity to try out most of the elements of the virtual “first-come, first-serve” sale before it went live in January 2015. The online sale of the 93 AG permits worked as expected, and Allen was so confident that she could manage the process on a larger scale that she made the official announcement in December that the January “first-come, first-serve” sale would be an online sale and, for the first time ever, students would not have to wait in line to purchase a permit.

On January 7 at 10:00 a.m., virtual permit sales opened up to commuting students who had not yet purchased a permit. By the end of that day, 162 students had purchased their permits online, and another 41 students purchased their permits online over the following two days. That amounted to 203 students who did not have to wait in line to purchase their permits. When considering the fact that Parking Services sold 180 permits on that fateful day back in August 2014, it sinks in what a huge upgrade this is from a customer service perspective.

After the permits were sold online, students were able to pick them up 24 hours later. Even though students may have had to stand in a line to pick up their permits, these lines were short, moved quickly, and definitely didn’t require a 5-hour commitment. It takes far less time to simply issue a permit that has already been sold than to complete the permit sale process from start to finish at the cash register. Many students expressed their gratitude for the major change in our business practices, and that meant a lot to the Parking Services team.

under: Business Affairs
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