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East Parking Deck changes

Posted: July 21, 2016

Installation of new Parking and Access Revenue Control Systems (PARCS) equipment is now underway at the East Parking Deck.

Transportation Services has recently begun installation of new Parking and Access Revenue Control Systems (PARCS) equipment at the East, HUB and Nittany parking decks. This $1.8 million project will include new in-lane equipment and gates, barcode readers, cameras, Voice over IP (VoIP – internet voice communications), level counting equipment and electronic signage, replacing existing gate equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. Site work is now underway, with installation scheduled for July and August.

These additions will significantly improve the customer experience in these facilities, and provide enhanced data and support tools for Transportation Services staff. Among the improvements associated with the new PARCS equipment are:

-    Ability to accept credit cards in the East, HUB and Nittany parking decks
-    Level counting technology to assist customers with finding available parking more quickly
-    New pay-on-foot stations will allow use of all exit lanes for both permit holders and visitors, improving both egress and general traffic flow
-    24/7 customer service accessible by a simple button push from the entry and exit lanes and our new pay-on-foot stations
-    Increased facility and usage data to assist with planning for day-to-day and event operations

With the installation of this new equipment, the East, HUB and Nittany parking decks will each shift to 24/7 operations. This change will require users to possess a valid permit or pay the appropriate visitor parking fee 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Entry lane machines, pay-on-foot stations and exit gates will remain operational at all times, including overnight and weekend hours, with customer service operations available at all times to provide assistance, as needed. The East Deck will also employ a new short-term parking payment structure for those without a valid permit, with the first hour prorated at $0.25 for each 15 minute interval. After the first hour, the standard $1 per hour rate will apply.

For current East, HUB and Nittany deck permit holders, the only change associated with this project will be a switch to new hangtag permits, which will be equipped with barcode technology to allow entry/exit at their assigned location. Departments will contact permit holders in these areas to exchange their current permits for the new permits once equipment installation has been completed.

For faculty, staff and student permit holders from other campus parking areas, as well as those from other Penn State campuses, this project will bring changes to the procedures involved with entering and exiting the deck and paying for parking during times when a permit is not valid at one of these facilities. As these changes are finalized over the next few months, detailed information will be shared with all faculty/staff and student permit holders and posted on the Transportation Services website.

For campus visitors, as well as University colleges and departments who host weekend events, 24/7 operations and fee collection will be a change, but one that will more fairly distribute the costs associated with maintaining parking facilities and operations. Evening, overnight and weekend parking will remain available at no charge in select campus lots, with information on these areas to be made available online. Transportation Services will provide additional staffing during the initial implementation of these changes to inform and educate customers about the new policies and procedures and their available options.

If there are any questions, please contact the Parking Office by phone at 865-1436 or by email at parking@psu.edu.