Virtual parking passes roll out this summer

Milenne Quinonez , Staff Reporter

Parking passes will now be virtual, as CWU works to implement them this summer, students can expect a slow transition on June 29, meaning your vehicles license plate will be your  permit.

“In fall quarter we would have lines of 75-100 people at a time waiting in line to pick up their permit,” CWU Chief of Police, Jason Berthon-Koch, said.

Berthon-Koch said this new transition will eliminate that process. Students will not have to spend time worrying about picking up their parking permits and instead do it online or on their phone.

“It’s also helping out with landfills by not using more plastic and cutting down on our plastic,” Berthon-Koch said. 

The new parking passes will be managed by a cloud-based permit system called FlexPort, where all the passes bought will be managed completely online. Parking enforcement will also be using license plate readers. 

According to Berthon-Koch, the parking enforcement will have cameras mounted onto their cars  reading license plates and comparing them to the permits they have on file. If there is no match then a ticket will be administered. 

“The enforcement is not about writing a ticket, the enforcement is about protecting the resources people pay for,” said Berthon-Koch.

Allie Roe, a junior majoring in the tourism management program, said, “I feel as if the transition to virtual parking passes will be different but good. Everything is going virtual already so having our parking passes won’t be so hard getting used to.”

Roe said she noticed an issue with the current parking hang tags and how they easily fall off, and people still get tickets even though they do have a parking pass. 

Hannah Thompson, a junior majoring in critical physiology, said, “I noticed inconsistencies. Sometimes, I’ll be able to park without my parking pass for a week and not get in trouble and then other times I’ll forget for an hour and get a ticket, so I’m interested to see if the new digital one either helps with that or how that changes.” 

Madison Haines, a senior majoring in finance and managerial economics, said she believes the virtual parking passes can be effective, but also sees how it won’t work. 

“Now with the current parking pass you can clearly see who has a parking pass versus who doesn’t, so it may be a little bit more difficult regulating that when it goes virtual,” said Haines. 

Madison Lea, a senior, majoring in accounting, said, “I’m a little bit worried about it because I already feel like the parking lots with having a physical tag is over-crowded, so I can only imagine how easy it would be to say you have a parking pass and you don’t, and how over crowded the parking will become as a result of that.”