The University of Nevada, Reno partnered with PayByPhone to launch a digital parking service for the 2020-2021 academic year.
PayByPhone is an app where individuals can park at certain locations and pay remotely.
According to university officials, the app provides a way for students to pay for hourly parking without having to worry about a parking ticket.
“The PayByPhone app, which offers a contactless alternative to pay for parking will play a crucial role in our plan for the return to campus,” said Michelle Horton, the university director of parking and transportation services, in a press release earlier this month.
Currently, the university has eight locations where campus community members can use the app.
- Morrrill Hall
- Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex: first floor
- Whalen Parking Complex handicap spots
- E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center
- Mathewson IGT Knowledge Center
- West Stadium Complex: top floor only
- Lombardi Recreational Center
- UNR Medical School
Those who chose to the use the app must register their car through the app. They must include the make and model of the vehicle they are driving, license plate number and a photo of their car.
“The PaybyPhone application is downloaded on the enforcement devices,” said Natalie Fry, a university communications officer, in an email to the Reno Gazette Journal. “When our enforcement officer enters the parking area, they simply type in the license plate number and the application notifies them if the vehicle has paid and the amount of time the vehicle has paid for. If the license plate is not found in the application, the vehicle has not paid and is subject to a parking violation.”
After including vehicle information users must indicate which parking lot they are using and pay fees. Individuals using the app will pay via credit/debit card.
Parking at the university cost $2.00 per hour, offered at two hour maximum intervals at certain locations, an increase from $1.50 the prior year. The PayByPhone application charges users an additional $0.25.
According to PayByPhone representative, Jessica Britton, the additional charges is where the company makes its revenue,
“The additional 25 cents is a convenience fee and comes to PayByPhone for the use of the app,” Britton said. “PayByPhone offers services in 500+ cities globally. The company’s revenue comes from the 25-cent convenience fee for each transaction, not from UNR.”
According to Fry, students can still pay at kiosk stations located in the parking lots and not incur the additional charge.
Fry said UNR will review the app in a year to see how it’s working.
“If successful, Administration will determine if the technology will be offered in additional hourly and daily parking areas on campus,” Fry said.
UNR is the second university in the Nevada System of Higher Education to implement PayByPhone. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas began using the application back in the Spring 2020 semester.
Andrew Mendez is a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism and is a Fall 2020 intern reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. You can support his work by contributing to the journalism school’s Dean’s Advisory Council fund.