Smartphone Apps For Better Parking and Traveling Available For Download

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Three new mobile applications are available for Ohio University students, faculty and staff to make parking and traveling around campus easier.

The ParkMobile app launched on campus during the summer semester. This app allows users to pay for university meters from their smartphones.

Marty Paulins, Director of Transportation and Parking at Ohio University, said that since then it has gained a huge increase in usage. He expects that with classes back in session even more people will begin using the parking app.

“We just hit 2,000 transactions since the end of June and that’s with no one on campus,” he said. “Yesterday we had just shy of 200 transactions.”

Some students like junior Caroline Bresnahan have already been using the app for a while. She said that now she never has to worry about finding spare change for the meter.

“I think it’s awesome because I never have any quarters in my car and I always have to stop at a store and get quarters. So now that I can pay for my phone it rocks,” she said.

Before ParkMobile all of the university meters had a 2 hour time limit. OU Parking Services and Transportation decided to change the meters to an unlimited time because the app allows people to refill their meter for as long as they want.

Paulins said that the city of Athens could possibly begin using ParkMobile in the future as well.

Another mobile app available for download is TapRide. TapRide is a late night transportation bus system that runs from 10 pm to 2 am. It has replaced the former Safe-T Patrol program, which was an on foot service. The app lets people drop a pin of their location and a pin of where they want to go. That route is sent to an IPad on the bus, which then picks you up and takes you safely to your destination. Paulins added that a text message is sent to your phone when the bus arrives.

“The safe part of this is that you get to stay inside the building,” he said. “You will recognize that bus is what’s coming to pick you up.”

An app similar to TapRide is DoubleMap, which tracks the Cat Bus system on campus. Now those who ride the bus will be able to track exactly where their bus is on its route.

“That’s always the fears of public transit – did I miss the bus? Is the bus coming? Well now you can watch on your phone and see that the bus is coming,” Paulins said.

All of these applications are free to download on the app store.