Post contributed by Auburn University Parking Services
While the climate may not be at the forethought of everyone at Auburn University, Parking Services Director Don Andrae is in a position to identify problems with on campus transportation and implement creative solutions to better serve the Auburn Family and help the environment. One unique solution recently implemented is the transition from a traditional, plastic parking hang tag to the currently used license plate verification system. With 28,290 undergraduate and graduate students in addition to the 4,830 faculty, staff, and professionals needing access to Auburn’s campus daily, this could result in a potential 33,120 individual plastic hang tags being disposed annually. By implementing this new technology on campus, we have dramatically reduced the amount of plastic that is disposed in landfills across the Auburn area and also in other States.
We also provide incentives to participate in our ride share program known as RideAmigos. You only need to provide your Auburn email address to sign up and become a member of RideAmigos to begin planning your trips out of town, or trips to campus during the weekday. Our partnership with RideAmigos provides anyone the ability to plan a trip anywhere and find someone who is also traveling to the same destination. If a student needs to travel to the Atlanta airport for the Holiday or Spring break, RideAmigos will find another Auburn member who is also planning to travel to the Atlanta airport during the same day and time. Not only does this save time and money when traveling, but it also reduces the amount of conventional vehicles on the road which in turn, reduces the carbon gas that is emitted from these vehicles. To register and become a member simply visit our collaborative website auburn.rideamigos.com and start planning your next trip now!
In addition to the RideAmigos service, we also provide students free bicycle access through our new War Eagle Bike Share Program that was launched in spring 2016. The War Eagle Bike Share Program utilizes student, faulty, staff or visitor’s smartphone as the key and rental portal for anyone who would like to ride any of the 125 bicycles located across campus and in the surrounding downtown Auburn area. Riders receive two free hours each day with the ability to return the bikes to any of the fifteen hubs in the Auburn area. With 3,000 registered bicycles on Auburn’s campus each year, we estimate 1,500 will be left at the end of the spring semester because students do not want them. “A lot of them are not bikers; they just buy it to get around campus and that’s what this program is designed for –the ability to use the bikes when you need them” said Andrae. Over the next few years we plan to grow our fleet and provide over 200 bicycles on campus for the Auburn Family to use. To learn more about our War Eagle Bike Share program, visit Sustainability’s feature blog post about our program to download the app and start riding today!
One final new technology that we are rigorously testing and close to implementing is a smart phone app that will alert users to available parking spots on campus. The student designed app FoPark created by Focus Engineering will be implemented in 2,000 spaces across campus late this fall and early the spring semester. The primary focus of the app is to assist users to find available parking spaces on campus which utilizes camera technology to notify users of open spaces. While there is a limited amount of parking spaces available on campus, this new technology will drastically reduce the amount of time people must drive around either parking lots or decks in search of an empty space. Not only will this reduce the frustration that is experienced when searching for an available spot, this new technology will also reduce the amount of carbon gas that is emitted while searching for an open spot for several minutes.
Through the reduction of plastics in landfills, sustainable car share programs, bike share programs and innovative parking technologies, Parking Services at Auburn University is continually searching for unique solutions to daily issues that are experienced by Auburn Family when accessing our campus while keeping in mind ways to reduce our impact on our planet and climate. For more information about any of our described programs, or questions about our department please feel free to contact our office by phone at (334) 844-4143, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also provide a free download to our Guidebook by searching “Parking Services” on the Auburn Guides app to receive up-to-date information from our department.