University pleased with mobile parking app

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter)
September 7, 2017 - 12:21pm

LETHBRIDGE - It's one less thing students have to worry about, amid the stress of a new semester.

For a second year, both the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College are working with the Canadian-developed Honk Mobile app for first-come, first-served parking spots. Students, staff, and visitors have the option of paying for their parking spot using the app, which registers the licence plate.

"It has worked very well. It's worked so well that we're having the city interested in it," said Cara LaMontagne, campus mobility service manager for the University of Lethbridge. She added users are catching on to it, while for the school it's been a quick and efficient system.

"At first it was like, hmm, is it going to work, am I going to get that ticket? But we had such a good turnaround with it," LaMontagne said. "And the Honk Mobile app, even the company itself is very helpful. This year the students are getting little tickets for five dollars, if you've never used it, to try it out."

She said it's an option for students who were unable to get a parking permit, as well as visitors and staff who only spend a limited amount of time on campus. And it's a stress reliever for students, who can top up their parking in certain lots when it's about to run out.

"They can be where they are. They can stay in class, they can do their studying, they can get their notification if they need to pay for parking, to keep going and stay in class. They're not going to be worried. And that was kind of what we wanted to reduce."

Among the feedback LaMontagne said they've received is that the app is preferable to waiting in line at a parking payment terminal. She expects that they will continue to evaluate each year, but notes it's already being used more this year compared to last.

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