Kwantlen Polytechnic University will change its parking management from Impark to Concord Parking on July 1.
On June 6, students received an email announcing the partnership with Concord and that a new parking solution with a virtual permit purchase portal will be implemented.
David Stewart, executive director of facilities services, says that Impark’s contract with KPU expired this year, and Concord outbid Impark for a new five-year contract worth around $150,00 to $200,000.
“There’s going to be more variability using Concord than what was experienced with Impark,” Stewart says.
The switch to Concord Parking means students will have the option to use SMRTpass, which allows students to purchase daily permits online. With their phones, students can pay for a weekly E-permit for $16.00, a monthly E-permit for $58.00, and a semester-long one for $190.00. An annual pass is also available for $440.
None of the parking permits include the Civic Plaza campus.
“SMRTpass features a web based QR code, eliminating the need to download an application,” according to the announcement email.
“So if the student enters their cell phone number the system will provide text messaging if the parking meter’s about to come due, if your time is running out…. Then a student can pay more from their phone,” Stewart says.
Electronic phone payments are convenient for students who don’t have access to a marketing meter.
“They could just pay a rate there on their phone. So it’ll be a lot handier for students than what we had before,” Stewart says.
Harmanjot Gill, a political science major at KPU, parks his car outside the campus because he doesn’t want to pay for parking.
“I think we shouldn’t be paying because we already pay so much money to go to university,” Gill says.
However, Gill says the semester payment plan is preferable than the monthly plan out of the options.
There will also be license plate recognition (LPR) enforcement, so students will no longer need to display parking permits. Stewart says this will help prevent students from avoiding payment.
“If there’s a student that knows the parking enforcement schedule, then that’s going to change as well,” he adds.
“They just need to know that parking is going to be done by license plate recognition, through scanning, vs somebody that’s going to be looking through the windshields of cars….The accuracy of the enforcement is going to be much higher,” Stewart says.
Even though there are going to be changes in how folks pay for parking, Stewart says parking prices will remain the same.
E-permits are valid on all campuses for non-reserved parking stalls during regular campus hours on weekdays, and anytime on weekends. For reserved parking stalls, they can be used after 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. Faculty at KPU can expect similar functionality for payment methods.
Earlier this year, Concord Parking closed a significant contract with Simon Fraser University to provide parking management to all of the school’s campuses as well.