UC Davis Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) released their new parking permit option, the EasyPark Personal Parking Meter (PPM), June 18.
The PPM is a small device that is used like a parking meter; it deducts funds at the rate of $1.50 per hour to a maximum of $7, the cost of a one-day permit. Funds can be added with a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $300. Once there are no remaining funds on the PPM, the device can be taken to TAPS to add more. The permit allows people to park in any “C” permit parking space or parking meter.
“It should help the individuals who regularly use the parking meters on campus or purchase $7 daily parking permits. For example, if you need to drive in and park on campus for two hours per day, three days per week, the Easypark PPM is a great option because you will pay only $9 for the entire week instead of $7 per day or $40 per month,” said Leslie Mancebo, transportation demand and marketing coordinator at TAPS.
The PPM is directed toward people who work near the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), who are only on campus for short time periods and for students who have a light class load on certain days.
“It sounds pretty ideal if you only have one 50-minute class on a certain day or if you want to go to the ARC to work out for an hour or two,” said fourth-year psychobiology major Robin Trevor. “The community college I transferred from sold day passes for only $1 and parking for a semester was only $40. It’s insane how much I’ve spent on parking alone, since I commute from Sacramento.”
Anyone may purchase a PPM at the TAPS office. A $33 deposit is required to obtain a PPM; it can be fully refunded if the unit is returned undamaged.
Others will opt to remain on the monthly, quarterly or annual permit purchase.
“I feel like this is a waste of money compared to the permit system. Assuming you use this for about four hours a week, times 10 weeks per quarter, that’s about $80 per quarter,” said Fourth-year animal science major Edwin Carranza says. “For about $50 more, one can park anytime without worrying about hitting the $7 mark. Also, with the initial $30 deposit, it becomes cheaper to buy a permit instead.”
In order to use the PPM the vehicle must be parked in a “C” permit parking spot or parking meter and the device must be placed inside the vehicle from the driver’s side window. Once the device is turned on, it automatically deducts funds until it is turned off again.
Fourth-year electrical engineering major Varn Khanna said, “If people could just install an application on their phone and do the same thing, it’d be much more convenient. This has the same issue as with the permit: People with multiple cars will keep forgetting to carry this along because it has to be displayed on the car. If it was a phone app, people could be alerted before they were given a citation, they could register the license number right on their phone and keep track of when they have to move.”
Many would be drawn to a PPM instead of a parking meter because handfuls of quarters are no longer needed for the meter. However, a vehicle using the PPM at a parking meter may only stay there for the allotted time. For example, if the meter time limit is 45 minutes, the vehicle may not be parked there for more than 45 minutes despite the amount of remaining funds of the device.
“It’s like having a parking meter in your car: It’s very convenient, instead of having to find a parking meter and have all those coins. Also you don’t have to waste $7 if you want to just go to the gym or go to one class on a day you don’t feel like taking the bus or biking,” said third-year environmental science and management student Kelley Liang.
Like the “C” permit, once it is 5 p.m., users of the PPM are also allowed to park in “A” permit spaces; the difference is that users of the PPM only pay for the time they are parked on campus, not a lump sum. However, if the PPM is lost or stolen, refunds will not be given for the deposit or the funds in the PPM. An individual using a lost PPM will be cited by TAPS, and the device will be confiscated and returned to the original customer.
Since June, 185 PPMs have been issued.
“We do not expect the EasyPark PPMs to have an impact on parking permit sales because they are available to a different population. I do hope that the PPMs will result in fewer customers receiving parking citations while parked at parking meters,” Mancebo said.
More information on the PPM can be found at the TAPS website.
LILIANA NAVA OCHOA can be reached at email@example.com.