New Online System Expected to Streamline Permit PurchasesPublished: May 17, 2010
No more waiting in line.
That’s the hope anyway when the new online parking permit system rolls into action at CSULB on Monday, May 17.
Currently, students can order parking permits online, for example, for the fall semester, but it doesn’t get mailed to them until two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. With the new system, however, they can order online, print out a temporary pass in minutes and wait for the permanent permit to arrive by mail at their designated address in no more than five business days.
“We’re tired of seeing the lines outside our building and the students are tired of standing in them,” said Mark Rudometkin, CSULB’s General Manager for Parking and Transportation Services. “It was a long process and we talked with a lot of folks, but we have a new online management system. T2 Systems Inc. is the company we are using and the system is going to be implemented in three different phases. The first and foremost is that we are trying to go online with all of our permit purchases and distribution for students, faculty and staff.” However, employees who are not on payroll deduction must still go to Brotman Hall or the parking office to purchase permits.
Unlike the old system, there will not be any cutoff days before the semester begins, according to communications and information systems manager Greg Pascal. Students can purchase parking permits 24-7 through parking’s campus portal.
“So literally from the time registration begins until two weeks before classes end they can go online, buy a permit and print out a temporary permit that will be good for a maximum of five days”, said Pascal. “They will then receive the real permit in the mail generally within three business days.”
To ensure accountability and for proper enforcement of the temporary passes during the time frame they are valid, an applicant’s license plate number will be required.
The new system will limit the over-the-counter sales as much as possible, though individuals will still to be able to do so.
“We’ll have kiosks set up where they can go online in our office in our customer relations center and print out a temporary permit,” said Rudometkin, noting that kiosks may also be available in Brotman Hall. “The permanent permits are still going to be mailed to them, even if they come into our office. They can use our computer, they can use our kiosk, they can print their temporary permit, but the end result is that the actual permit is still going to come in the mail.”
In addition to cutting down lines, the new system will provide additional benefits that customers won’t necessarily notice.
“There’s a lot we can do with the system,” said Rudometkin. “We’re looking for more accountability; it will allow us to run a lot more diverse reports off this system. It also enables us to provide our third-party folks the ability to purchase permits online. We’re going to work with athletics, where if somebody wants to come to a basketball game they can purchase their parking permit online, same with events at the Carpenter Center. Those are things we’d like to do down the road and we will. We have a lot of special events on this campus and if a department needs 20 permits for guests, they will be able to go online and do it themselves straight off the Internet.”
“With payroll deduction, the process is completely automated for faculty and staff,” said BG Abraham, the systems analyst for Parking and Transportation Services. “Before, we had to have four different systems just to handle one permit and now it’s completely seamless. Some other campuses have used this and we’ve learned from problems they’ve had. They had issues when moving from the client/server to the web-based system, but we’re going straight to the web-based system, so we will bypass all those problems. And, at some point, all of our citation processing will fall under this program as well as our special events, but we will address those after we get the permit process up and running.”
A new system was something Abraham had been looking at for years and as a group, they realized the system the university was using just wasn’t going to work any longer and something better was needed.
“We needed to find something to streamline the process, provide a better service and better accountability to ourselves and that’s what this system will allow us to do. This touches the entire campus and beyond and that’s what makes this exciting, knowing what it can do for everybody,” said Rudometkin. “It’s very user friendly and it’s going to simplify some things. As we implement the system and begin to use it we have the ability to grow with the system and to use it to continue to enhance what we do. We have a solid team of people who know their stuff. We can still utilize our current staff and use student assistants and still be able to function effectively.”
Currently, there are a couple ways faculty and staff can purchase their parking permits, either via payroll deduction or semester-by-semester, just like students. If you already have a tag, it will expire in 2011. New permits, however, will be good throughout the life of an employee’s employment, with no expiration date, but it must be returned upon separation from the university. Key cards are the same thing. Individuals who have a permit that expires in 2011 will get a lifetime permit when they renew next year.