JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Seeing a student plug quarters into a parking meter may soon be a thing of the past.
Dave McKinney, director of Parking Services at A-State, said there's another option available to students.
"We have a new app students can download to their smart phones called Park Mobile," McKinney said. "Our department's always looking for the latest in technology that we can use for our operation, but mostly for our students. It's a real convenient way for students to pay for parking either in the parking deck or any of our metered parking on campus."
McKinney said they are always looking for ways to improve how things are done.
"We had a lot of folks that wanted to have more options for paying for parking," McKinney said. "We added the credit card payment option on the pay stations a few years ago. Most recently we added the option for students to use their Express Dollars to be able to pay for parking. So, this was just one more feature we could add because this allows them not to be tied down to a particular location."
McKinney said they first launched the app in a limited area to see how it would do.
"We actually launched the app in the fall of 2015," McKinney said. "But we used it only in the parking deck. We wanted to see how well it would work and if the students would embrace it and how it would be received. It was so well received we decided to go ahead and expand it to all the metered parking on campus. So, we have five zones now on campus."
McKinney said it's about making things easier and more efficient for everyone.
"They can pay to park in any zone on campus from any location," McKinney said. "They can even prepay before they get to campus. They can pay after they park. It keeps them from having to walk to a pay station or to a parking meter and plugging it. They can use their phone to do that."
Jennifer Giddings is studying to become an occupational therapist.
She said she first noticed the app on her friend's phone and said she plans to download it as well.
"I think it's a great idea," Giddings said. "I think everybody uses technology nowadays, and I think it's just a great step in helping us be able to park better."
But the parking app isn't for students only.
"It's actually available for anybody," McKinney said. "Students, faculty, staff and even the general public can use this. Park Mobile is also nationwide. So, they can download the app and use it here. But anywhere else in the country where park mobile is available, they can use that app to pay there as well."
McKinney said getting the app is easy.
"Go to the app store or whatever you would go to for the particular phone you use," McKinney said. "Wherever you go to download apps. It's free. The only thing they pay for is the parking itself and a convenience fee to the company Park Mobile for the convenience of the service."
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