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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ulmer

Still Using Decals on Campus? 3 Reasons It May Be Time to Switch

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

As a vendor in the parking industry, we’ve come to learn that each operation is complex and highly unique, especially when it comes to the higher education market.

University and college campuses are like small cities. Hosting thousands of people each day, there are huge implications for parking and transportation.

While many have found and adopted technology solutions to streamline permit sales and enforcement, one piece of the operation still presents major challenges for most parking and transportation offices - guest parking.

The use of decals, scratch cards, coupon codes, and full on enforcement exemptions halt operational efficiency for a campus that’s trying to move digital. Unfortunately, despite going digital for most other use cases, these methods remain in operation to manage parking for campus guests.

Don’t fret - this isn’t a sad story! We’re here to explore the ways digital permits can be used to manage campus guests and improve parking operations.

3 Reasons to Switch to Digital Permits:

Value for Money and Long-Term Benefits

Not only are decals expensive to manage, they also require a significant amount of labour. Digital Passes reduce operational expenses associated with printing, mailing, and storing physical passes.

Simplify your parking operation, improve the customer experience, and take advantage of increased flexibility (for all of those last minute department requests) - the value for money when you move to a digital solution far outweighs that of decals.

Improved Customer Experience

In today’s world, experience is everything. Technology has changed customer expectations. When someone’s whole world is accessible through their smartphone, they expect parking to be no different.

Whether we like it or not, the reality is that life today moves really fast, and there just isn’t time or patience for manual processes like walking to a pay station or picking up a physical pass from the parking office. With digital permits, parking managers are improving the campus parking experience and offering solutions that align with consumer expectations.

Flexibility and Autonomy for Parking Managers

In a perfect world, departments submit event request forms a month or two in advance, giving the parking team ample time to understand the request and coordinate logistics. Unfortunately, this world is far from perfect. Oftentimes, requests or changes are being made last minute, creating headaches for the parking team. 24 hours isn’t possibly enough time to mail guests a decal. With digital permits, online reservation links can be sent to an event organizer in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, parking managers have the flexibility and autonomy to update the rules and restrictions at any given time.

Is It Time to Make the Switch?

Managing guest parking on campus may be cumbersome now, but there are ways to streamline the process. Digital permits and mobile payments have replaced the old ways of managing student, staff, and public parking, and campus guests are the next piece.

Would you invest in a solution that has high value for money, sets your department up for long-term benefits, improves the parking experience, and provides your team with the flexibility they need?

Other campuses are making the switch (and not looking back for a second!). Here’s what Katie Campbell with Old Dominion University had to say about their transition:

“Offstreet has provided us with a solution that meets our needs for validated parking on campus that we could not get anywhere else. The software is robust and easy to use and integrates well with our existing products. We have received positive feedback from our customers on how easy it is to park with Offstreet. In addition, the Offstreet team is responsive to our needs and has provided the necessary support to make the product rollout a success.”


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