New convenient parking technologies launched for fall term

Parked cars

UO Transportation Services has done away with its plastic hangtag parking permits this fall, but that’s not all. Thanks to license plate recognition software, the UO is now able to provide virtual permits for the first time across campus.

The new system will allow for fast and efficient online permit purchases, with customers no longer needing to come to the Transportation Services office in person.

The online parking portal also lets customers manage their account in other ways. They can reserve secure bike cages and lockers on campus, update their vehicle information, pay and appeal parking tickets, and order visitor permits for friends and family.

“We’re excited about these technology improvements and that we are eliminating our outdated plastic hangtags,” said Transportation Services Director David Reesor. “The added benefit is that moving more services online helps with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Long term, the technology will eventually allow Transportation Services to provide users with real-time parking information as additional smart-data infrastructure is added, Reesor said, helping them to track down available parking without driving from lot to lot.

Over the summer, the department also removed all aging, individual parking meters on campus. Customers will have two new options to pay for hourly parking: paying by app or paying at a walk-up kiosk. 

The app, ParkMobile, offers the most convenient payment method. Users can purchase and add time to their space either in the lot or from a distance, such as when they are unable to get back to the parking lot in time.

Alternatively, a handful of multispace kiosks will be placed in the busiest parking areas, such as on University Street, where they have done away with individual meters.

Finally, the department continues to work to provide more flexible parking permit options to customers ahead of an unprecedented fall term. For example, a new 30-day rolling parking permit has been introduced, in addition to the existing daily, one-term, academic year and calendar year permit offerings.