Page 102 - Security Today, July/August 2020
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Campus Parking
"Gateless or frictionless solutions give parking managers insight into who is parking in their facilities and for how long, as well as information on frequency and turn-over. This enables campuses to better manage their facilities."
A Faster Way to ROI
Additionally, with LPR cameras at parking lot entrances, the sys- tem itself can identify vehicles without permits or unpaid fines when they enter. This provides the operations center with real-time infor- mation about how many violators are in any given lot at any given time. With this knowledge, they can then direct enforcement officers to prioritize the lots that have a higher number of violations rather than follow a route based on proximity and location. At MCC, the college implemented its ALPR system, in part, to help recoup unpaid parking fines. The result was that they saw an ROI in 6 weeks rather than in the predicted 6 months.
But, for most colleges and universities, recouping unpaid parking fines is not the main financial benefit of implementing an LEP system. Real revenue generation comes from improved parking compliance. Because of how accurate LEP system are and how frequently personnel are able to scan each parking lot, students, faculty, staff, and visitors are more likely to pay for a parking permit rather than face steep fines.
Learning from the Parking Systems
Beyond improved efficiency and revenue generation, parking com- pliance can also be used as an effective tool to help change behavior. For example, through parking policy and pricing, a campus can encourage faculty and students to use rideshare or take public trans- portation. If permit prices are too low, everyone drives to campus. If they’re too high, no one does. But, if they are appropriately priced and properly enforced, parking policies can have a positive impact on the environment.
To determine the best price point, campuses have to understand how people are using their lots. And the best way to gain this knowl- edge is through the information being collected in an ALPR system.
With increased understanding, colleges and universities can also provide a better customer experience through improved service. In some cases, a campus might not want first-year undergraduates park- ing in lots that are at a significant distance from the main buildings. The best way to determine what is happening and then change policy to facilitate safer parking is understanding — through the campus’ permit and enforcement activities — which vehicles are parking in what lots.
The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, imple- mented an ALPR system that provides them with real-time lot counts. Working with the data collected in its system, the university has been able to improve overall parking services and effectively direct traffic to dedicated parkades during events. This means that, even when the number of vehicles on campuses increases dramatically, UBC is still able to move traffic efficiently and get visitors to venues on time.
Ultimately, colleges or universities have to implement the parking system that allows them to best serve and support their community. Understanding the potential for an ALPR system to improve efficien- cy, security, and intelligence helps campuses modernize their opera- tions and effectively protect their faculty, staff and students both now and in the future.
Stephan Kaiser is the AutoVu general manager at Genetec Inc.
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