Located in Cheney, Washington, just west of Spokane, Eastern Washington University (EWU) prides itself on its diverse student body and beautiful surroundings. EWU has 18 surface lots to serve the 13,000 students that make up its campus community.
EWU was going through a major restructure when the parking department learned its enforcement equipment was going to become obsolete due to national security changes. Additionally, with only on-foot enforcement officers and lacking boot or tow policies, EWU staff had difficulty preventing parkers from complying with University permit rules. The University initially transitioned to another provider with a mobile enforcement solution, but there were challenges with data loss, duplicate data, and inattentive customer service when it came to resolving these issues.
After six months of challenges with its provider, it was time for a change, and Director of Campus Services Michelle Rasmussen decided to look at the next level of parking management technology: License Plate Recognition, or LPR.
EWU launched LPR in July 2017 and the results have been better than expected. The time to issue and process tickets has decreased, and revenue has increased. The EWU staff has also been impressed with the outstanding customer service they’ve been provided.
“I have never been more pleased with the level of enforcement we have. We are finally getting control of the campus. Because we do not boot or tow, what used to take 2-3 weeks to manage and process now only takes 3-5 days. Our citation issuance is up 25% over the previous form of enforcement because of the timing of driving vs. walking.” – Michelle Rasmussen, Director of Campus Services, Eastern Washington University
Customer Service and Easy Implementation
“I have absolutely no complaints on the level of service we’ve received,” says Rasmussen, “and our Student Financial Services and IT team members who helped us launch stated it was a very easy process from their point of view.” Rasmussen also appreciates the consistent software upgrades and hardware maintenance support for the LPR equipment.
Staff continues to be amazed by the reduction of manpower and the increase in revenues, which are amounting to a $20,000 increase in the second year of use. “This has been the most efficient, cost-effective decision we have made,” says Rasmussen.
The LPR solution EWU chose is all-inclusive— a huge benefit compared to other providers. There were no additional costs for different aspects of the program or software upgrades, which was a significant cost saving for the University.
Located in the northern part of the country, EWU had concerns about LPR functioning in the cold, snowy winter, but the system still works in that environment. The system also doesn’t get interrupted with any data issues and gets a better read than the mobile system used with the previous provider.
“I am very grateful we moved forward with this system” – Michelle Rasmussen, Director of Campus Services, Eastern Washington University