Parking needs at and open admission community college campus are diverse, and Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Maryland is no exception. With 34,000 credit students and 30,000 non-credit students spread over three campuses, streamlining parking enforcement and permit management was a constant chore.
However, since implementing T2 Flex™, PermitDirect and T2 eBusiness, Montgomery has optimized parking operations and seen a significant increase in citation payment revenue while offering a higher level of customer service to parkers. Parking permits can be ordered anywhere students have internet access and they no longer have to wait in line.
Wide Range of Parker Demographics
Half of Montgomery College’s 34,000 credit students fit the description of an average four-year university student: on campus for several days and hours a week and in need of consistent and convenient parking. But it’s the school’s 40,000 non-credit and part time students that create the vast majority of headaches. Planning the parking demand can be extremely difficult, since a student can register today and show up for class tomorrow.
“Our non-credit students are on campus for many different reasons,” said Mark Pace, Parking and Transportation Manager for Montgomery College. “We have 1,500 workforce development and continuing education courses running at any given time. These classes can vary from a one-time test preparation class, a weekly art course primarily attended by senior citizens, or a two-year technical program.”
The demand for parking is also greater for part-time students because they are usually arriving to campus during or after their workday, and thus do not have the same access to the alternative transportation options available to full-time students.
PermitDirect Eliminates Long Lines, Better Allocates Resources
Diverse parker needs combined with three separate distribution channels made Montgomery College’s permits a nightmare to distribute, track and enforce. T2’s PermitDirect solution allows students to purchase permits online and have them delivered right to their mailbox. All permits are also tracked in Flex, vastly improving distribution, tracking and enforcement.
Permit fulfillment was done through the security offices at each of the three campuses. Long lines were a consistent problem and many permits were not correctly tracked because they were manually entered on cards. Pace explained the two-fold problem with their previous system: “Enforcement is the responsibility of our security office, but they were spending a lot of their time managing permits in the office. Also, when they had the time to actually patrol our lots, the influx of permit errors and the method of posting citations made it nearly impossible to collect on vehicles not registered with the college.”
Since implementing PermitDirect, Montgomery College has issued an annual average of 26,300 permits, 25,100 of which were fulfilled through PermitDirect. “Staff in other departments are often amazed at the number of permits we issue knowing that the Parking Office is a one-person operation.
Security officers are able to focus on securing the Campuses and enforcing the regulations,” Pace said. “And since we can easily track all permits and citations, we now have far fewer illegally parked cars in our lots. Also, we are able to assign responsibility for a greater number of citations due to the automation of the citation process,” Pace said.
eBusiness Improves Citation Revenue
“T2 eBusiness makes submitting citation payments and appeals so easy for our customers, and that ease of use leads to more citation payments coming through our system,” explained Pace. It also allowed for a streamlining of appeals and a better system to explain why an appeal was denied, and has resulted in reducing the number of appeals going to their Appeal Board for review. “Our increase in citation revenue from the year prior to implementing T2 Flex and eBusiness was $55,700.”
The Cloud Saves Time and Resources
Montgomery College recently made the decision to have T2 continue to host their parking data after the initial five year contract. Hosting has relieved the maintenance burden off their shoulders. “One person manages IT for the campus facilities department, and he is stretched very thin. Before going T2 hosted, implementing an update or getting problems solved in a timely manner was next to impossible because of limited resources,” Pace said. “Now, updates and backups of the data are made automatically. Our system is constantly monitored by the T2 team.”