By Ed Brennen
Students, faculty and staff can check real-time parking availability at all three of the university’s parking garages, as well as the two biggest parking lots on North Campus, with the new Parking Spaces app.
Developed by Web Services, the Parking Spaces app shows the number of available spaces at the North, South and East campus parking garages and at the Riverside A and B lots. The free app, which is currently only available on the Apple iOS platform, includes directions, hours of operation and accessibility information for each location.
Parking Spaces replaces the university’s Garage Spaces app, which was released in 2016 for the North and South parking garages.
Campus parking availability is monitored by the university’s UCard, Access and Parking Services (UCAPS) office based on data collected as vehicles enter and exit through garage and lot gates. Recent infrastructure upgrades to the East garage and Riverside lots enabled their gate data to be included in the app.
“Adding this information to the app allows people driving to campus to plan their trip and reduce the time hunting for parking spaces, which ultimately reduces our carbon footprint,” says Jon Victorine, director of UCAPS and security technology.
The new app allows users to customize which lots they see on their phones. As with the previous version, it also includes an audio option that “speaks” the number of available spaces.
Victorine says including the Riverside lots, which are widely used by commuter students, gives UCAPS a more holistic view of parking availability on North Campus.
“And the East garage is used by a large cross-section of our community for events, so having metrics on that is valuable to us,” he says.
According to Web Services Executive Director Gerry Nelson, iOS accounted for 72% of the users of the previous app, which was downloaded more than 1,000 times to iPhones.
Web Services’ Sam Diep programmed the new app (as well as the previous version), while Senior Web Designer Ferney Lopez and Front End Developer Allen Williamson were responsible for the design.
“We’re very happy with what Web Services developed in terms of usability and the updated interface,” says Victorine, who hopes to see the Broadway/Riverview lot on South Campus added to the Parking Spaces app down the road.