Known as “The State University of New Jersey,” Rutgers University is home to close to 70,000 students spread across four campuses. Once a private liberal arts college, the school has evolved over time, becoming the largest public university in the state.
Rutgers University was issuing and mailing over 30,000 physical parking permit hang tags a year. Its previous technology provider, T2, couldn’t handle the volume of permit requests and would frequently crash or place students and faculty in a virtual waiting room. This resulted in lost revenue for the university as well as a frustrating customer experience.
With a labor-intensive enforcement process, officers would be required to manually enter plate or permit numbers to search for valid parking sessions prior to writing a citation, which often took up a lot of their time and hindered routes. Furthermore, the paper tickets they were writing often blew away in the cold New Jersey winter, went unnoticed or were simply ignored.
When looking for a new provider, the Rutgers team wanted License Plate Recognition (LPR), and wanted their permits and enforcement operations to run on one platform. They spoke with peers at other universities and all pointed to Passport.
Reliable technology equals increased efficiency
Because LPR cameras are mounted to a car, the parking operations team is able to cover more ground than ever before. “We are more efficient, and the software is more reliable than the previous system,” said Jack Molenaar, senior director of transportation services at Rutgers University. Officers are issuing on average 40% more citations than they were with the previous provider, and the University plans to install more fixed cameras throughout the parking ecosystem.
In the first academic school year after implementation, Rutgers has increased its citations paid revenue by $1.3M, a 65% increase from the previous school year with the previous provider. This was particularly surprising considering that during that same timeframe they reduced the citation cost by $25. They expect revenues to increase again this school year.
Increase in Citation Revenue over the 2018-2019 school year
Lower costs by going digital
With virtual permits and eCitations, officers can now issue citations, send notifications and allow students and faculty to pay for tickets all electronically. As a result, the University saw an immediate decrease in costs related to envelopes and stamps that had to be purchased, along with the upfront costs for the sale and distribution of physical permits.
A year after the permits and enforcement implementation, Rutgers chose to expand parking operations within the Passport family with mobile pay parking technology at three locations. The University is now utilizing the same platform for all its mobile parking, enforcement and permit needs. This added technology, which allows visitors to pay for parking through the Passport Parking mobile app, will eliminate some equipment currently in garages, ultimately saving them maintenance and upkeep costs.
With Passport managing all operations, the campus now has an open parking ecosystem which gives them more efficiency and coverage.
“It’s always hard to implement a whole new system, and we did it fairly seamlessly and smoothly because of the team at Passport that helped set it up and was there to fix anything that went wrong.” Jack Molenaar, senior director transportation services