Android app to help students find legal parking on campus

While students pay a hefty fee for their on-campus parking passes, they still get hit with expensive tickets for parking in the wrong lot. Rutgers Mobile Application Development is creating an app to make it easier for students to know the parking lot in which they are legally allowed to park.

The application, RUParked, determines where students are able to park based on the student ID number on their parking passes, said Aldo Lopez, event organizer for RuMAD.

Depending on what pass you have, it would know where you can park and the closest place to park, Lopez said.

RuMAD will eventually develop applications for Android and iOS operating systems for Apple products, said Varun Singh, vice president of RuMAD. The organization hopes to start creating apps for iPhone users next semester.

The group aims to create useful applications that students can benefit from using at the University, said Singh, a School of Engineering sophomore.

Dave Zafrani, president and co-founder of RuMAD, said he researched the parking lots throughout the campus to know which ones to include in the app and to allow users to find a parking spot through their ID pass.

Jack Molenaar, director of transportation at the University, said everyone in the world complains about parking tickets without realizing that proper parking needs to be enforced.

If we didnt enforce parking then those who had permits for the right zones would be angry when there was a lot of traffic and they couldnt find a spot, he said.

Molenaar said he has not heard about the RuParked application but believes there may be value to it.

Anything that helps make it easier for students to park, I am fine with. I would rather have everyone park correctly, Molenaar said.

The application is scheduled to release on April 28, when any Android mobile phone user can download it for free, said Chris Dilks, RuMADs lead JavaScript programmer.

The apps are created through making codes, which are lines of an algorithm that help the device know what to do, said Lopez, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

The club works with students to write android apps through Java and also holds weekly meetings where members teach others new aspects of the Android, said Dilks, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

So you could say we code in Java for Android apps, he said. Our ideas usually arise sporadically and all members of the club can contribute individual ideas.

The club meetings are instructional and teach interested students the basics of mobile app development, Singh said.

While the apps are available for free, members hope to turn the club into a business.

The apps will always be free. In the future as we lean more toward generating revenue and having a business, we will think about advertising, Dilks said. One of our things is to give everything for free and just make money through advertising so that we can continue doing what we are doing.

Zafrani, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said the club aims to gain more students to make apps that will help the community.

Hopefully we can put together an entire team and go the whole nine yards of a business to create and market an app in the future, Zafrani said.

As University students await the release of RUParked, some brainstorm ideas for other useful apps.

I wish that there was an app even for Sakai or myRutgers. This way instead of having to use the Internet and wait to log in, I could access it quicker, said Christina Fountoukidis, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

Another student said the app could be beneficial for the entire University.

I think RUParked sounds awesome. Students are really stressed about parking on campus and we always end up with tickets because we never know, said Kelsey Flanigan, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. I think the Rutgers population will be thankful.

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