New parking meters added to select lots, changes still coming to Vadalabene Center

The new Woosh meter in parking lot E.

New pay-by-space machines went into effect in parking lots A, E and F on Sept. 17. They will eventually be installed in front of the Vadalabene Center.

These new machines replaced the single-spaced meters that once occupied these lots and were already in use in lots C and B. While the original single-spaced meters only accepted change, the new machines accept credit cards, change and dollar bills.

The new machines also require that students pay in 30-minute increments, instead of the 15-minute increments that the single-space meters offered. Director of Parking Services Tony Langendorf believes these changes will be more convenient for students and will decrease the total number of parking citations.

 “Because you’re paying by credit card or via the Woosh app, people tend to give themselves enough time rather than cut it too close,” Langendorf said.

The Woosh app is a free app that students can use to add time to their parking meters from their phone or computer. It has a $0.35 service fee per transaction, which includes both initial purchases and time extensions.

“If you pay with the Woosh app, it will even send you a reminder on your phone saying ‘Your time is about to expire. Do you want to add more time to it?’” Langendorf said.

The price of parking using these new machines reflects the $0.50 increase per hour that went into effect at the beginning of the school year. In order to raise revenue, the parking and traffic committee suggested this increase.

“[The parking and traffic committee] tried to affect the fewest number of people and do the meters instead of looking at a higher increase for the parking permits,” Director of Administrative Services Robert Vanzo said.

In this way, students pay extra at the metered spots to park closer to their classes. However, some students like senior public health major Lakendria Heard of East St. Louis, Illinois, have found that there are more issues with metered parking than just the increased pricing.

“I was upset the other day because I didn’t have to come to class early so I came a little late and I came to [lot A] and there were not any meter spaces,” Heard said. 

Overall, Parking Services believes that the changes are positive.

“The reason we switched is because [pay-by-space] meters are an outdated technology. With these, it’s more user-friendly,” Langendorf said.

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