Parking Services aims to make student life easier with new technology

Parking Services rolls out new license plate reading technology. (Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media Group)

The goal of Kansas State University Parking Services’ latest project is simple: to create efficiency within Parking Services and make life easier for students, Jeff Barnes, the director of Parking Services, said. 

K-State is beginning to test a new license plate recognition system, Barnes said. 

This will eventually replace hang tag parking permits and allow for Parking Services staff to patrol vehicles quicker. 

“License plate recognition is becoming the industry standard for parking,” Barnes said. “It’s a much more efficient means of patrolling the parking lots. It’s better for the customers in the long run. You don’t have to worry about hang tags or losing permits. You also don’t have to worry about standing in line to pick up a permit.”

Hannah Cryer, sophomore in agribusiness, favors the hang tag permits. 

“I really appreciated the hang tags,” Cryer said. “As a freshman, when I moved in, it was nice to look at them and see, ‘Okay, I have a D parking pass, I can park in the D lots,’ and it listed the lots.” 

Adian Yoho, freshman in agricultural economics, said he finds many benefits within the hang tag system. 

“I feel like you should go ahead and always have the hang tags,” Yoho said. “Because as you go in as a freshman, you know what lot you’re supposed to be in, you know other lots you can park in, you know the expiration date, you know your parking permit number and all that other stuff. And it’s good to look around and see if other people have the same hanging tag as you, so maybe you can get into the right spot, and if you didn’t have it, I feel like you could get confused easily.”

Cryer said the advance in technology may be difficult for students, but she thinks it could benefit Parking Services.

“I think the system would be better if they use the license plate automation system, and are able to just drive by, versus looking at hang tags,” Cryer said. 

In the end, Parking Services hopes to make students’ lives easier, Barnes said. 

“It should be easier for students,” Barnes said. “Honestly, in the long run, students don’t have to worry about if they bring a different car to campus, they just have to add the vehicle to their permit. They’ll still purchase permits. That process will be very, very similar, but they won’t get a hang tag anymore starting next year. But they don’t have to worry about moving a permit from one place to another to anything else. After spring break, fall break and winter break, students will leave their permit at home. Things like that happen fairly frequently. And now they won’t have to worry about it.”