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Automated pay stations to come to UI parking lots

BY ANDREW POTOCKI | JULY 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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Construction is underway on many parking lots across campus as part of the University of Iowa’s Parking Access and Revenue Control System  project.

The project will update 28 parking lots across campus, 14 employee lots, and 14 public lots.

“When everything is fully installed, we will have about 300 new pieces of equipment across campus,” said David Ricketts, the UI Parking and Transportation director.

Ricketts said the equipment and software should cost around $3.7 million, while the entire project will cost $5 million.

The project includes demolishing significant portions of the entry and exit lanes, placing an all-new power conduit, removing the old equipment, upgrading IT infrastructure, and repaving the lanes and surrounding areas, Ricketts said.

The equipment update will include gates, key-card readers, cash registers, ticket dispensers, and pay-in-lane equipment.

Currently the lots use an old system from a manufacturer no longer in operation, Ricketts said.

Previously, the university went through the company Federal APD to buy and repair its equipment until the company was bought out by 3M and shut down.

Now, Ricketts said, the university has switched to Amano McGann Inc. for all the new equipment.

The system overhaul will update the outdated technology, including installing the campus’ first automated pay stations, he said.

The pay stations will include pay-on-foot and pay-in-lane devices in which the person can pay without an attendant present, he said.

Some university students wonder why payment is required for on campus parking in the first place.

“It’s pretty inconvenient to have to pay to use a university lot when I’m already paying for the school,” UI junior Shawn Sperry said.

The devices will be similar to the ones used at parking ramps owned by Iowa City.

Butch Temple, the project manager in charge of construction at the Main Library lot, said he agrees the system is due for an update.

“[The new system is] much more electronic than the old system; most of the work has been adding all the wiring underground,” he said.

Ricketts said the UI will also retrain all 170 cashiers for the new system, and it is beginning to revise a number of in-house procedures to accommodate the newer technology.

“In the long run, there will be many more advantages to this system, but in the short run, we will operate it like the older system, except with many fewer system failures and with access to much more data,” he said.

The project is still in its very early stages, Ricketts said, but the university hopes to have installation of the new parking equipment completed by the end of 2015.


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