Pay-by-phone campus parking service sees growth

· 3 min read

Pay-by-phone campus parking service sees growth

A campus parking meter in late 2011. (File photo)

In the first month of the 2013 fall semester, more students, faculty, staff and visitors took advantage of UNL’s mobile pay-for-metered-parking service over the same stretch a year ago, a campus parking official said.

Parking and Transit Services and national vendor MobileNow launched the new service in March 2012. The service allows users three options to pay – via QR code, a free app or by a phone call – and is available at 400 parking meters on City and East campuses and the 17th and R Street parking garage.

“We’ve seen growth from 184 customers from August to September 2012, to 463 customers in (that same time in) 2013,” said Dan Carpenter, UNL’s director of Parking and Transit Services. “We went from 701 transactions (in the first month of the fall semester of 2012) to 2,280 transactions in the first month (of 2013).”

To use the service, users can set up an account at After an account is established, payment can be made by scanning the QR code on each meter with a smart phone, through a separate free MobileNow app for smart phones or by calling 402-982-4112.

“Once that’s activated, you can go to a parking meter and can either bring up the app or call to pay,” Carpenter said.

With the meter’s location number and a duration, users are billed for their time. MobileNow offers hourly and daily parking options – the daily rate is $5; hourly is $1. There is also an additional 30-cent convenience fee charge per transaction.

“The cool thing about this is that you can set it up on your account to text you when your time is about to expire so you can add additional time,” Carpenter said.

Users should note that after a transaction is made, campus parking meters will continue to show that time has expired, he said. Before any tickets are issued, Parking and Transit services employees check a MobileNow database to see if a parking space has been paid for.

This is the third time UNL has offered the option to pay for parking meter by cell phone. In June 2011, UNL introduced the service with the European-based RingGo. That September, RingGO canceled the service to all sites in the United States. RingGo was selected by UNL through a competitive bid program. UNL selected MobileNow because it agreed to meet all terms in the university’s original agreement with RingGO.

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