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WVU partners with app to make parking easier

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University and the free pay-to-park app Parkmobile teamed up to make paying for parking at WVU easier and faster.

Parkmobile is a service that can be accessed via cell phone, computer or tablet. Users must register with the service and connect a payment method to their account.

After connecting either a Paypal account, debit card or credit card to a Parkmobile account, users can enter their up-to-date license plate number and select the zone they are parked in either by scanning a QR code or entering the zone number provided at the lot at which their vehicle is parked, according to Parkmobile’s website.

There are several Parkmobile parking zones throughout the Downtown, Evansdale and Medical campuses.

Instead of constantly rushing to a meter or pay-to-park area, app users can add more time to their transaction on the go with their cell phone and receive notifications when time is almost up.

Additionally, there is a “Find My Car” option via GPS in case a user forgets where they parked.

Daniel Walsh, sophomore journalism student, thinks the new partnership between WVU and Parkmobile is convenient for busy students.

“A lot of people get tickets because they feed the meters thinking they have enough time,” Walsh said. “Then you’re in class and sort of forget that it’s running out. If you get alerts, that would be really nice. You don’t even need to leave class.”

Other Morgantown residents find solace in the new way tickets can be avoided, too.

“I am constantly looking for new apps and ways to improve services to our tenants,” said David Friend, who has been the manager and owner of Morgantown’s downtown Friend Rentals for 29 years. “I think (Parkmobile) is an excellent idea for places that have parking meters and (for) students because it will help reduce the amount of fines handed out.”

Friend does not believe it will affect the way his tenants purchase parking passes from him, however.

“Our monthly rate is much lower than metered rates,” Friend explained.

First-time parking violations at WVU weigh in at $20 per citation, unless the driver is parked in an ADA-accessible space without a permit, in which case the citations begin at $200 per violation, according to WVU’s Transportation and Parking website.

Compared to the typical $1.25 per hour at metered spaces, $20 is not a favorable price to WVU’s students, as Walsh confirmed.

As Friend said, “I think it will make it easier to park,” which seems to be the essence of Parkmobile.

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