Parking app unknown to students

Everyone who drives to campus understands the struggle of trying to find a parking spot.

In an attempt to reduce the stress of parking, UND has jumped on the bandwagon of using the new ParkMe application. However, “UND has a parking app?” has been the response of many students on campus questioned about it.

“ParkMe is all about preplanning,” Business Manager of Parking Services Robyn Bancroft said. “This way you don’t have to drive out of your way just to see if the ramp is full.”

The ParkMe app updates every five minutes and informs users how full the parking ramp is.

Upon opening the app, users see a map of campus and all of the parking lots . Each parking lot is labeled by zone so permit holders know exactly where they can and cannot park.

The parking ramp will have a percentage sign stating the occupancy percentage. That percentage can help students determine whether or not they will be able to park in the ramp.

For example, if it were a half hour before class starts and the ramp was 70 percent full, students might be more apt to take a shot at it and drive straight to the ramp. On the other hand, if it were five minutes before class starts and it is 98 percent full, students may skip the ramp and drive straight to another lot.

“This app will also help reduce traffic up and down University Avenue, which has been a community issue in the past,” Bancroft said. “If students know the ramp will not be accessible, why not park at the Ralph Engelstad Arena or the bookstore and hop on a shuttle bus?”

Overall, this app is there to help users save time, which busy college students would love.

“Our long time goal is for ParkMe to become more user friendly,” Bancroft said. “We will continually work on it. Eventually, users will be able to look at any lot on campus and see the occupancy percentage. So they’ll not only know if they can park in the ramp, but also in lots such as behind Archives, the Ralph Engelstad Arena or the Chester Fritz Auditorium.”

ParkMe has good intentions, but until the word gets out to more students, parking may still be an added stress to students and staff.

Hailie Pelka is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].