Puck stops here
By Sylvia Mioduszewski
Western's parking services is taking a hands-free approach to traffic this school year. Instead of reaching through a car window to insert a parking card, a puck-shaped disk will now do the work for drivers.
Placed on the inside corner of a car's windshield, the disk uses a low frequency radio signal with a range of six feet to open the gate, said Dave Hill, manager of parking services. The system is currently being used in green lots, with grey lots having the system added this month.
"We had a number of problems getting the technology started but once we got them straightened out, it worked consistently," Hill said. The long- term upgrade to the parking gates will cost $4,500 per gate more than the traditional card system and is being financed by parking revenues.
Students will be relieved to know that prices for permits will not increase although there is a $25 refundable deposit for the disks.
"It's convenient. I like not having to roll down my window," said Aggie Pajak, an honours biochemistry student, adding she prefers the disks to the card method.
Unlike parking cards, the disks have a 120-year life span and since they stay firmly attached to the windshield of the car, they do not suffer the wear and tear of daily use, said Salman Hydri of Apcoa Parking. Hydri is the location manager for Toronto General Hospital parking services where the same devices are used.
The new system, originally used for toll booths, allows for extra features to be added later on and other service-related possibilities, Hill said.
The orange core lots should have the system next summer, Hill said, adding all student lots will switch to the disk system, with faculty and staff lots operating on both for as long as it is feasible, he added.