Parking services debuts updated portal
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 22:04
It is not uncommon for a Miami University student with a car on campus to find a Miami parking ticket under his or her windshield wiper.
Now when students appeal that parking ticket online, they will be doing so through new software called BOSSCARS. BOSS is a company that offers campus software solutions, and according to Miami University Police Department (MUPD) Lt. Ben Spilman, CARS stands for Campus Automobile Registration Systems.
He said Miami’s Parking and Transportation Services previously used Power Park software by T2, but the product line was ending. The department explored new products by T2 but decided to purchase BOSSCARS.
Spilman said this $172,000 purchase would be a more efficient program for the Parking and Transportation Services’ office and an easy-to-use online portal for students, faculty and staff.
“One of the big advantages of this BOSS software was that it interfaces directly with the university Banner system,” Spilman said.
Charges can be directly sent to a student account or deducted from faculty and staff payroll. Also, students, faculty and staff can purchase parking permits and submit parking appeals with the software.
Spilman said Miami was able to purchase this software with the Parking and Transportation Services budget, which gains revenue through permit purchases, citations and garage usage.
Cathy McVey, senior director for strategic communication and planning, said IT Services helped with the Request for Proposals (RFP). An RFP outlines what the customer wants out of software, and then vendors respond with how they can assist the customer.
IT Services helped Parking and Transportation Services select the BOSSCARS software and helped install and integrate the software with the university Banner system.
Spilman said the purchase also includes new handheld devices for parking control technicians, which will allow them to synchronize violations to the system.
Sophomore Emily Nick said she has received at least 10 parking violations. She said she thinks the parking control technicians excessively distribute violations and said she was surprised by the cost of the new software.
“Parking is really restricted for students with a yellow pass, so it’s easy to get a ticket,” Nick said. “Hopefully I won’t have to use the new program, but I won’t count on it.”
McVey said the new software is live and seems to be running smoothly. IT Services’ job now is to ensure it continues to operate without glitches.
“It seems really easy to navigate and is really straightforward,” McVey said.
Permits can be purchased through this software, however permits for the 2012-2013 academic year are not yet available.
Spilman said students should make sure their local address is current in the Banner System before attempting to purchase a new permit. A student’s local address determines permit eligibility in many cases.
All fees will remain the same for the next academic year.