Monroe Community College
314-Acre Campus Invests in AutoVu Automatic License Plate Recognition to Recoup Revenues from Scofflaws and Improve Compliance
The Business Challenge
Monroe Community College (MCC) was established in 1961 as a unit of the State University of New York. It is now a leading higher education facility which caters to over 34,000 students annually across two campuses and a few remote learning centers. Its main Brighton campus is central to the majority of academic programs, spanning 314 acres with 16 academic, administrative and athletic buildings. Welcoming a diverse population of commuter and resident students, the University offers 5500 parking spaces across 20 campus lots.
While MCC Parking Services worked around the clock to enforce permits and identify vehicles with unpaid fines, the manual process lacked efficiency. Issuing physical permits caused administration backlogs at the start of each semester and trying to visually identify permits was described by Denise Calarco, Parking Services Manager at MCC, as “searching for a needle in a hay stack.”
“We were looking for a more cost-effective way of doing business, better time management as well as improved enforcement accuracy for all the permits. We also wanted to simplify the issuance side of the permitting, and provide an easier method for student and faculty registration,” continued Calarco.
After testing a few parking solutions, MCC partnered with Frontrunner Network System and selected Genetec AutoVu, an open architecture automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system, to build a new license plate-enabled parking (LEP) system.
MCC Sees 6-Week ROI and $18,000 Savings on Permit Administration
During the first-phase of installation, MCC equipped one parking enforcement vehicle with AutoVu which focused specifically on identifying scofflaws and recouping unpaid parking fines. The results generated a 750% increase in scofflaw identification over the pre-existing manual process. According to Calarco, “We were told ROI on AutoVu would be realized within 6 months; we saw it in 6 weeks.”
Since the initial project was so successful, MCC was able to fund another two AutoVu mobile systems. Today, three vehicles operate in tandem to enforce 29 different types of permits throughout the various University parking lots, as well as to identify scofflaw vehicles. MCC also added four AutoVu Sharp fixed cameras for gate control at the entrance of staff parking lots. This automatically triggers the parking gate to open when the incoming vehicle’s license plate match a list of registered faculty license plates.
AutoVu has allowed MCC to move away from physical permits, using vehicle license plates to facilitate easy online permit registration. According to Calarco, “AutoVu has drastically improved the way we work. No longer having to print and issue physical permits has saved MCC $18,000 a year.”
Improving Customer Service and Enforcement Efficiency
MCC has also seen a dramatic improvement in customer service; as it is now able to rely on AutoVu to accurately identify vehicles with registered permits. “There are no more disputes from students who would previously claim their physical permit was actually affixed to the vehicle after receiving a ticket. The license plate is always there, and it’s either registered or not,” explained Calarco. In the event that a student claims their car was never on campus, MCC is leveraging AutoVu within Security Center to pull evidence such as retrieving a picture of the vehicle with a time stamp.
For parking operators, their enforcement task has also been simplified, allowing them to cover more campus lots in less time. With GPS-assisted lot section, AutoVu automatically presents a list of nearby lots based on the vehicle’s location, so operators can quickly select the lot with associated permits lists that is about to be enforced. Then, operators simply drive up and down lanes, allowing the ALPR cameras to scan license plates. AutoVu automatically alerts operators to unpermitted, or scofflaw vehicles, via the in-vehicle laptop.
Building a Complete License Plate-Enabled Parking Solution
While AutoVu served as the catalyst to adopting virtual permits, other parking technologies have been integrated with the ALPR system to form a comprehensive LEP solution at MCC. BOSSCARS Parking Management Software from BOSS SOFTWARE is used to manage all the permit lists and regulations, and facilitate the online registration. Three Digital Payment Technologies Pay-by-License Plate pay stations are also integrated using AutoVu Pay-by-Plate Sync in visitor lots. All permit information is automatically updated over a WiFi connection to ensure enforcement accuracy.
Offering virtual permits for transient parking has also added a layer of convenience to visitors, guests or students. According to Calarco, “Our entire parking operation is now paperless, even for short-term guests. They simply enter their vehicle license plate at the pay station and go off to their destination. There is no need to go back to their car to display a receipt—it’s pay-and-go.”
Expanding Cost and Efficiency Savings to Remote Campuses
Since MCC is constantly expanding its academic offering with satellite campuses, there are plans to continue adding and mirroring the AutoVu installation at newer facilities. According to Calarco, “We are very satisfied with our choice in AutoVu and our new LEP parking solution. For MCC, the fact that it was a university-focused parking solution, as opposed to the other systems on the market, was highly important. Genetec understands our University parking applications, and this has been instrumental in ensuring our successes with AutoVu.”
Infrastructure at a Glance
AutoVu, a core component of Security Center, the unified security platform from Genetec, has been fully integrated with the BOSSCARS Parking Management Software from BOSS SOFTWARE. Three Digital Payment Technologies Pay-by-License Plate pay stations are integrated using AutoVu Pay-by-Plate Sync. Three enforcement vehicles are equipped with two AutoVu Sharp ALPR cameras each, and computers run the in-vehicle AutoVu software for University permit and transient parking enforcement and scofflaw identification. 4 fixed AutoVu Sharp ALPR cameras automate gate control in staff parking lots.