EDITORIAL: Parking changes are more efficient
System can be positive or negative depending on perspective
The Rutgers University Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) implemented a brand for granting parking permits and issuing parking tickets this year. Basically, the new system has done away with physical parking passes, or hang tags, as well as physical parking tickets. It now relies on an electronic system that recognizes vehicles registered by scanning their license plates.
One glaring upside of this new system for students who buy parking permits is the convenience aspect. Students no longer have to take time to go to DOTS and wait in line to pick up their parking permit — it is simply all done online. Another good thing about the new electronic system is that it may help thwart undeserved parking tickets. If the system recognizes that a ticket was issued wrongly by an officer, it will alert DOTS and suggest further investigation before issuing the ticket.
This system will make it much easier for Rutgers to enforce its parking rules. At first glance, stricter enforcement may sound unfair and more like a downside than an upside, but it depends on how one looks at it. From the perspective of students who pay for passes, it is not a downside. What is unfair to students that pay for passes is when people who do not buy passes take up valuable parking spaces in lots that other students pay to park in. In some cases, lots may be hard to find spots in, and if a student who is not supposed to be parked in a certain lot does so anyway, there could conceivably be no room left for those who paid. Also, with stricter enforcement may come more money gathered from illegal parking, which DOTS will use to help increase the efficiency of things like the bus system — that is, assuming this system does not deter illegal parking. If it does, DOTS could possibly rake in less money from tickets if people are parking illegally less often.
Students without registered vehicles who get tickets for parking somewhere they are not supposed to, will not get a physical ticket anymore. Instead they will get a warning sticker telling them to contact DOTS. A ticket can't be issued until that happens because they do not have a way of contacting the person and notifying them (vehicles the system recognizes get emailed tickets). This is a bit of a confusing aspect of the system, because it seems as though people have one free pass for parking illegally since they could potentially just never contact DOTS about the sticker. That said, the next time it happens and a scanner recognizes the plate, the car will get towed.
One last downside depending on how one sees it is the fact that the new system tells the administration a good deal about the whereabouts of vehicles that are registered with them. To some, the fact that the administration is now more adept at surveilling the Rutgers community than they previously were is a bit threatening — especially after the implementation of Office 365, which allows for managerial oversight on the part of the administration that includes the ability to peer into Rutgers email accounts.
Overall, this system will likely be just as opposed as it is welcomed, but there are some definite upsides for Rutgers as a whole. This system will bring efficiency with it, and efficiency is something Rutgers and its parking system could definitely use more of.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 150th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.