July 21, 2019 | 83° F

Rutgers department of transportation increases parking enforcement with e-ticket system

Photo by Thomas Boniello |

The Rutgers University Department of Transportation Services will now be sending tickets through email to those who violate campus parking rules. Previously, the University utilized a system of hangtags and paper tickets.

The Rutgers University Department of Transportation Services (RUDOTS) is cracking down on illegal parking this year with a new e-ticket and permit system.

Hangtags, tickets on car windshields and picking up parking passes are things of the past, said Jack Molenaar, senior director of RUDOTS. Now permits and tickets are emailed to students, faculty and staff — making a more efficient system on multiple fronts.

How it works is police vehicles have cameras that scan license plates across campus, Molenaar said.

“They have cameras on the vehicles, and they roam and they just scan plates,” he said. 

Molenaar explained that using geofencing, a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area, RUDOTS locates every location someone would park in and names it. When a guard approaches a parking spot, they are able to see what vehicle should be there by the time and day of the week.

If a ticket is issued incorrectly, the system picks that up too, Molenaar said. If an officer does it wrong and the system picks it up, people at RUDOTS will be alerted to review the ticket to assess whether it is valid before it gets issued.

On the RUDOTS side, Molenaar said that the ticket includes a scan of the license plate and a picture of where the vehicle is sitting. Molenaar added that he can then use GPS to get an exact location of where the car was in the lot when the ticket was issued.  

This new system will make it harder for students to park in spots they are not registered for and share permits while cutting down on miscellaneous complaints, he said.

“You’re not going to be able to get away with parking illegally, you will get hit (with a ticket). The percentage that you’re going to get hit is just going to increase substantially,” he said.

Because plates are being scanned every day, the system lets the department understand what its compliance rate is. RUDOTS can tell what percentage of cars, or people, tickets are coming from, Molenaar said.

Scanning and online ticket technology seems to be the direction Rutgers is headed toward in the future. 

Future plans to monitor parking include cameras fixed in lots that can take a picture of rear license plates as vehicles enter and exit lots, Molenaar said. This would allow the department to keep track of vehicles that stay in a lot too long or try to take advantage of parking times.

Currently, RUDOTS is working on a sticker system for cars that cannot be identified by the department. Molenaar explained stickers will serve as a warning for owners of unidentified vehicles to contact RUDOTS. The next time the car is spotted it will be towed. 

Despite these changes, he said students who follow parking rules should be fine. 

“That rule of always needing to have a permit anywhere, that has been the same forever. We’re just changing how we’re doing enforcement,” Molenaar said.

Ryan Stiesi

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