University of Windsor students can now pay for parking from the comfort of their own vehicles.
The school now allows use of the HonkMobile parking app at pay-and-display lots on campus. The app allows anyone using these lots to pay via credit card through their smartphone without having to grab a ticket from the pay stations.
Laurie Butler-Grondin, manager of parking services at the university, said the educational institution began looking into this kind of service about nine months ago. She said she considered about five different companies and HonkMobile was chosen because she felt it would work best for university lots.
“If it’s at night and the student is trying to pay in the machine, they may be fiddling with a credit card, they may be fiddling with cash, they’re vulnerable to outside elements,” Butler-Grondin said of the benefits of the app. “It could be raining. It could be snowing. It’s dark, they might be uncomfortable.”
Another function the app provides is a notification sent to a user’s phone 15 minutes before their payment expires.
The student can then choose to pay an additional amount from wherever they are if they would like to stay longer in the campus area.
“I think it’s a wonderful solution for our students who basically want to just pay for the time that they feel they’re going to need, not what they think they’re going to need,” said Butler-Grondin.
The app is meant to help prevent students from receiving parking tickets and increase compliance, she said.
“We never really want to ticket, but we do that to make sure everyone is on the same playing field,” she said. “We’re hoping this encourages students to pay as opposed to getting a ticket.”
The app will not be used in university parking garages since those have a pay-as-you-exit function, said Butler-Grondin.
“We're very excited to partner with University of Windsor," said HonkMobile CEO Michael Back in a statement. "There are fewer parking spots for more cars and people don't have time to worry about parking.”