New access readers reduce parking traffic

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By Jacqueline Francis

Every second counts when trying to make it to class on time, and the new parking lot access readers installed on campus Monday were designed with exactly this in mind.

Instead of swiping an SMU ID card to enter the parking garages, drivers will now hold up their ID card to the access reader and wait for the green light to flash and the gate to open.

New access reader in Airline parking garage
New access readers replaced the previous card swiper in Airline parking garage. Photo credit: Jacqueline Francis

The more efficient access system is also compatible with toll tags from the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA). The tags allow students and faculty the ability to register their SMU parking permit with the NTTA as an alternative to using their ID card.

Officials say the new technology reduces the time it takes for cars to enter the parking garages and allows drivers the convenience of entering the lot without ever having to take their hands off the wheel.

Mark Rhodes, director of Parking and ID Card Services, sees the new system as a way to reduce carbon emissions by minimizing the idle time for vehicles entering and exiting the parking structures.

“Proximity and toll tag readers simplifies things for customers and it is better for the environment,” said Rhodes. “Win-Win!”

Implementing a new system can come with a few glitches, so students or faculty members denied access to the parking lots are instructed to contact the Parking and ID Card Services Office for assistance.

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