ParkMobile

Students can park hourly within the ParkMobile designated locations where numbers are marked on signs in the Nutwood parking structure, Eastside structure and State College structure. (Nicole Mariona / Daily Titan)

Cal State Fullerton students can now pay for parking remotely with the Park Mobile App.

Elissa Thomas, the parking operations and transportation demand manager, said that a decreasing demand for hourly parking lots, parking and transportation services said their motivation to move forward with the app was in part by a health conscious response to the pandemic.

The app also notifies students when their designated parking spot will expire, allowing them to extend their session directly from their mobile device.

Students can set up their account by downloading the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, according to the Parking and Transportation Services website.

ParkMobile parking is available in three marked zones in the ground level of the Eastside South Structure in zone number 1674, the Nutwood Structure in zone number 1672 and State College Structure in zone number 1673. The zone numbers are labeled by signs displayed on those levels.

Thomas said that there are 114 spaces out of 1,477 spots in the Eastside Structure, 100 spaces out of 2,476 spots in the Nutwood Structure and 87 spaces in the State College structure reserved for students using the Park Mobile service.

The app allows a maximum parking time limit of up to six hours and 45 minutes. It accepts payment through American Express, VISA, Mastercard, Discover, JCB — an international payment brand — and PayPal.

To create an account, students can use an email address, create a password, add the vehicle being used and then add a preferred payment method, according to the ParkMobile’s website.

ParkMobile can also be used by individuals without a smartphone. The website states that as long as the person owns a cell phone, they can call into their interactive voice response services by dialing in the number posted on stickers displayed around the parking spot.

The parking services’ website states that in order to use the app, students should turn on the app’s location settings on their mobile device and the website recommends users to do so to quickly find available parking spaces. However, users do not need to turn on their location services when using the app.

Hayley McMillen, a sixth-year studio art major, said she felt the $4-per-hour rate is expensive and would need to pay close to the daily $10 parking permits.

McMillen said that in the last six years she’s been attending CSUF, she feels that parking has been easier this semester compared to previous semesters, where, to her, finding parking was “obnoxious.”

Thomas said she also believes the current format of hybrid courses had to do with the decreasing number of students filling up parking spots.

“This way, you can do it from the comfort and safety of your own car on your own phone,” Thomas said. “And so, it’s a contactless transaction.”

Skye Higa, a third year mechanical engineering major, said that using the app to pay for a spot in the Eastside structure on his first day of the fall 2021 semester was the only option for him to use. He said with the expensive rate for hourly parking, it was more convenient to pay for the daily $10 pass, as most classes last for more than an hour.

Thomas said that while students cannot buy a daily parking permit through the app, students can still have a contactless experience purchasing it by directly logging into their portal and searching for “Parking.” She said students can also go to parking.fullerton.edu and click on “purchase permit” where the daily permits are available to registered students.

“So, you just print that out and put it face up on your dashboard and you’re good to go for the day,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the Parking and Transportation Services is looking to improve the contactless experience by next year to allow students to register their car’s plate as being registered with a paid permit. She said this would eliminate the need to use more plastic for the physical tags, especially with an increasing amount of users who need a replacement.

“And so that's why we're moving towards this system of ‘What can we do to make things even better and easier?’ and it's like, if you can just register your plate and not have to worry about a physical permit,” Thomas said.

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