Located in Newark, Delaware, University of Delaware (UD) is home to over 22,000 students and is one of the oldest universities in the country. Known for its science, technology and advanced research, and its art conservation program, UD attracts students near and far for its academics, student life and welcoming campus.
University of Delaware (UD) had a visitor parking permit program which required campus visitors planning to park in permit lots to purchase daily permits prior to parking on campus. Students, faculty and visitors could also pay for hourly parking at kiosks and single space meters for the 10,721 spaces available on campus.
When looking for a new solution, it was important to the parking operations team to give students, faculty and visitors alternative ways to pay, expand their hourly spaces and keep their robust validation program intact.
Validations made easy
University of Delaware has always validated a large number of campus parking sessions, so finding a technology that fit that specific business model was key. The Passport Parking app allows the university to load balance on the validation account management site, and create custom validation codes that parkers can use for discounted or free parking depending on the set amount.
Using this feature, UD allows different departments to validate their visitors’ on campus stay directly through the app, eliminating the need for validation stamps and other materials saving them both time and money.
Expanded available parking & created flex parking areas
Prior to Passport, the campus had separate hourly and permit lots and garages. Visitors could park in hourly lots and pay at kiosks, or they could purchase a visitor daily permit online to park in permit lots. The university initially launched seven hourly lots on the Passport Parking app. As the app increased in popularity, the team evaluated its uses and saw an opportunity.
With the Passport Parking app, University of Delaware can now open its permit-only lots to hourly parkers, helping to increase the amount of spaces available for non-permit holders. The university has expanded from seven on-campus lots with mobile pay parking options to seventeen over the past two years. Providing more convenient parking options has both decreased the amount of illegal parking on campus as well as decreased the amount of visitor permits purchased by 20%, as visitors shifted to hourly parking, therefore reducing operational costs.
Increased awareness = increased revenue
In order to raise awareness, the university developed promotional flyers to promote mobile pay through the Passport Parking app. Staff handed them out at different events across campus including orientation. They also created a marketing campaign that included new signage, tweets and an article on UDaily, the school’s online news source.
Now two years after launch, the app is so popular on campus that the school has processed close to 50,000 in-app transactions and mobile pay revenue increased by 67% from 2018 to 2019.
“When evaluating your parking system and whether or not to go mobile, think comprehensively about how you can change your business model and improve your customer’s experience. Passport helped us replace current systems and open new opportunities to improve our campus parking” Christina Caruso, Parking Services, University of Delaware