Clemson University’s Parking and Transportation Services (CPATS) was cited by the Carolinas Parking Association and received the 2015 Award of Excellence for most innovative, effective and efficient operation.
The award was based on a range of programs implemented in the last year to maximize Clemson’s limited parking supply, better define where visitors can park, distribute costs equitably among users and enhance sustainability.
“Clemson is one of the few universities to use smart phone apps and the first in the nation to use the loop sensor technology on this large scale to improve parking,” said Dan Hofmann, Clemson’s director of parking and transportation services.
CPATS installed sensors in nearly 400 visitor metered parking spaces and wire loop sensors in 10 large student commuter lots. The sensors are integrated with free smart phone apps that enable students to find open spaces among the 4,200 parking spots.
The My.Clemson app, introduced last year, shows available metered and student commuter spaces on interactive maps that guide users to open spots. The app can be downloaded to any smartphone from the Clemson website and presents a real-time interactive map that tracks the availability of every parking space on campus.
The university also replaced aging, single-space parking meters with multi-space, solar-powered pay stations that accept coins, bills, debit or credit cards, and Tiger One cards and provide printed receipts. All metered spaces are numbered and cost $1 per hour to park. An option to allow visitors to pay by cell phone is launching in some “visitor only” meter locations this week.
The new technology is only one component of a multi-faceted program improving the Clemson parking and transportation experience that earned the university the award this year.
The university also started a low-emission vehicle program and now has 12 electric cars.
An upgraded transit system, solar-powered smart meters, LED lighting in parking lots, solar trash barrels, and new electric cars with license plate recognition technology for parking officials are other factors that dramatically reduce Clemson’s carbon footprint.