New Campus Parking Equipment

New Campus Parking Equipment

Need to Know Information

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Contract parkers need to know:

  • Contract parkers at each facility received email notification and instructions before the facility was updated with new equipment. 
  • New readers at updated facilities read U Cards and PTS Parking Cards (PPCs) instead of the old keycards. 
    • If you have a U Card, you will use it in place of your old keycard. 
    • Prior to each facility’s conversion to new equipment, PTS distributed PPCs to replace keycards that cannot be replaced by a U Card, such as departmental contract keycards. 
  • Most contracts assigned to students, faculty, and staff are eligible to use license plate recognition (LPR) as a contract credential. LPR enables the parker to enter and exit the facility without holding a card to a reader. See About License Plate Recognition Technology for details.
  • There were several months during which an old keycard was needed for access to some facilities (those not yet updated with new equipment) but not accepted at others (updated facilities).
    • Keycards can be dropped in on-campus battery buckets or returned to the PTS office for secure disposal.

photo showing how to use a contract card

Public parkers need to know:

  • Credit Card Payments: Parkers can pay at a paystation on the way to their vehicle or in the exit lane. All pay machines accept credit cards.
  • Cash Payments: Parkers must pay at a paystation before returning to their vehicle. Cash payments are not accepted at exit lane machines. Paystations will be located in the lobbies of ramps and garages and at most parking lots.

Departments need to know - Coupons:

  • Coupons have been replaced by validations at HUB facilities. See instructions on the validations website to get your department set up to use validations. 
  • The new parking machines accept validations, but they do not accept coupons.
  • Departments may request a refund for unwanted prepaid coupons.

Departments need to know - Budget Charge Cards:

  • Budget Charge Cards were replaced by validations at parking facilities. See instructions on the validations website to get your department set up to use validations.
  • The new parking machines accept validations, but they do not accept Budget Charge Cards.
  • Departments may return unneeded Budget Charge Cards to the PTS office for secure disposal.

Why is this happening?

Frequently Asked Questions For Individuals

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Will I be notified before work on my facility is complete?

Yes. PTS will send an email with information you need before the facility upgrade is complete. You can also watch this page for project status updates. 

Do I need a new keycard after my facility is upgraded?

If you have a U Card, you will use your U Card in place of your old parking keycard. New card readers at updated facilities read U Cards and PTS Parking Cards instead of the old keycards. When you no longer need your keycard, return it to the PTS office for secure disposal or look for an onsite keycard disposal option.

How do I know my U Card will work?

Look at the issue date on the lower left corner of the back of your card. If the date is 2008 or later, the card is compatible with new card readers. Most contract holders with pre-2008 U Cards are eligible for a replacement card from the U Card Office at no cost. 

Do I need to contact PTS to tell them my U Card number?

No. PTS and the U Card Office collaborate to link U Card numbers to active parking contracts automatically. If you replace your U Card, allow one day for the parking system to recognize your new card.

Can I add another person's U Card to my contract?

No. Only one U Card can be on a contract. There are two ways to link additional credentials to your contract. Any contract holder may purchase up to two PTS Parking Cards for $20 each. Holders of individual contracts may also link up to two license plate numbers to their contract for use by the LPR system. U Cards, PTS Parking Cards, and LPR function interchangeably.

What is a PTS Parking Card?

PTS provides PTS Parking Cards to replace keycards that cannot be replaced by a U Card (such as departmental contract keycards). In addition, any contract holder may purchase up to two PTS Parking Cards for $20 each. 

Where are the new card readers, and how do I use them?

The new readers are built into the new entrance and exit machines. They operate by proximity, like the old readers. Hold your card near the reader on the machine to activate the gate.

What if my primary parking facility has been updated, but my reciprocal parking location has not?

The project will take several months, so some facilities will have new readers, while others do not. Use your U Card where possible but continue to use your old keycard where new equipment has not yet been installed. 

Will the U Card or license plate be coded to allow after-hours parking in other lots/ramps?

Yes, evening and weekend reciprocal access will continue as in the past and access to a facility will be with a U Card or license plate as the facilities are converted.  Until a facility is converted, the current keycard will need to be used to enter/exit the facility.  So hang onto your keycard!

Since I can’t get a duplicate U Card, how can I get a second parking credential?

How can I enter my facility if I don’t have my U Card with me?

There are two ways to link additional credentials to your contract. Any contract holder may purchase up to two PTS Parking Cards for $20 each. Holders of individual contracts may also link up to two license plate numbers to their contract for use by the LPR system. U Cards, PTS Parking Cards, and LPR function interchangeably. 

I would like to use License Plate Recognition (LPR). What do I need to do?

LPR technology is being installed at gated parking facilities on the Twin Cities campus over a period of 18 months. Use of LPR technology is optional. Read about LPR here.

How can I enter my facility if I don’t have my U Card with me?

If you have an additional credential, you can use it. There are two ways to link additional credentials to your contract. Any contract holder may purchase up to two PTS Parking Cards for $20 each. Holders of individual contracts may also link up to two license plate numbers to their contract for use by the LPR system. U Cards, PTS Parking Cards, and LPR function interchangeably. 

If you have no valid credential to use, take a ticket from the entry machine and carry it with you. When you are ready to exit, press the Help button on a paystation or exit machine. PTS staff will verify your contract status and allow exit on a valid contract. 

I am a contract holder and I carpool to work. If I go on vacation, how can other members of my carpool access the facility without my U Card?

Consider linking additional credentials to your contract. Any contract holder may purchase up to two PTS Parking Cards for $20 each. Holders of individual contracts may also link up to two license plate numbers to their contract for use by the LPR system. U Cards, PTS Parking Cards, and LPR function interchangeably. 

Will the price of my contract go up?

There are no contract rate changes planned at this time. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in Extended Reduced Operations across campus, PTS planned and contracted for replacement equipment for improved services at parking facilities. This project is being paid for with capital reserves that have been saved over time for this expected need.

PTS is a self-supporting department. Contract parking fees go to the operation of University parking facilities including daily maintenance; annual structural inspection/repairs; and safety features including security cameras, panic alarms and optimal lighting. 

I have a motorcycle contract. Is there anything I should know?

The only difference is that your contract will not be able to use LPR. The LPR system requires a front license plate, which motorcycles lack. 

How long should I keep my old parking keycard?

Keep your old keycard and continue to use it where new equipment has not yet been installed. Old keycard readers will remain for use with keycards at updated facilities until it is certain the new readers are fully operational. 

Should I return my old keycard to PTS when I no longer need it?

Yes. When you no longer need your keycard, return it to the PTS office for secure disposal or look for an onsite keycard disposal option.

Frequently Asked Questions For Departments

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I manage departmental contracts for my department. Will PTS replace our keycards?

Yes. New card readers at updated facilities read U Cards and PTS Parking Cards instead of the keycards that PTS has issued for many years. Keycards that cannot be replaced by a U Card (such as departmental contract keycards) are being replaced by a new PTS Parking Card.

Do I need to take action to get PTS Parking Cards for departmental contracts?

No. PTS will contact your department when it is ready to distribute PTS Parking Cards. However, you can help the process by confirming PTS has updated contact information for your department cards. You can find the contact person on record for your departmental parking contracts on your eStatement at estatement.umn.edu. Departmental parking contracts are billed quarterly in January, April, July, and October.

How long should I keep my old parking keycard?

Keep your old keycard and continue to use it where new equipment has not yet been installed. When you no longer need your keycard, return it to the PTS office for secure disposal or look for an onsite keycard disposal option.

Frequently Asked Questions For Public Parkers

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Do all facilities still accept cash and credit cards?

Yes. However, to pay with cash you must take your ticket with you after you park and pay at a paystation before returning to your car. Exit machines located in lanes accept credit cards and validations but no cash. Paystations accept cash, credit cards and validations.

How do I pay for parking?

There are three ways to pay:

Cash: Take your ticket with you after you park and pay at a paystation before you return to your vehicle. Paystations are free-standing machines located in or near a parking facility lobby. In-lane exit machines do not accept cash.

Credit Card: Pay at a paystation or at an in-lane exit machine. Both accept credit cards. Note that paying at a paystation saves time in the exit lane. As you approach the exit gate after having paid your ticket in full at a paystation, the system automatically raises the gate to allow exit. 

Validation: Take your ticket with you to your event or appointment. If the host provides validations, they will scan your ticket to validate it or offer you a printed or digital voucher. Present your ticket at the paystation or in-lane exit machine. If applicable, present the printed or digital voucher next. If there is a balance due after validation, pay with cash or credit card (paystation) or credit card only (in-lane exit machine). 

Should I take my ticket with me?

Always take your ticket with you so you have the option of having your parking validated or paying at a paystation before returning to your vehicle. Paystations located in or near a parking facility lobby accept cash, credit cards and validations. Paying at a paystation saves time in the exit lane. As you approach the exit gate after having paid your ticket in full at a paystation, the system automatically raises the gate to allow exit. 

Do I use my credit card to enter and to exit, like at the airport?

No. Do not present your credit card at an entrance machine unless posted signs state that event parking (pay on entry) is in effect.

What do I do if I lost my ticket?

If you lost your ticket, press the intercom button located behind the "i" symbol.  This will connect you with a customer service representative.

Is event parking changing?

Event parking will continue to be used when a large number of vehicles are expected for an event. Event parking charges are taken at the facility entrance, overseen by a parking attendant. Parkers may use a credit card in the new entrance machines or may pay the attendant in cash.

How will disability parking be affected?

Disability parking will still be available at all public parking locations.

Disability parking will still be available at all public parking locations.

Are coupons and budget charge cards changing?

Yes. Prepaid coupons, pay-per-use coupons and budget charge cards are being replaced by the new validation program. Validation FAQs 

What should I do with my coupons and budget charge cards?

Coupons and Budget Charge Cards will continue to be accepted at facilities that have not been converted to the new equipment. See the timeline. 

Frequently Asked Questions For LPR

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How can I learn about License Plate Recognition (LPR)?

LPR technology is being installed at gated parking facilities on the Twin Cities campus over a period of 18 months. Use of LPR technology is optional. Read about LPR here.