ParkMobile app replaces parking meters around campus


Jiovani Bermudez

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Winona State University implemented their new ParkMobile system as an option for vehicles to be parked near campus. The price of these metered spots runs 2 dollars an hour and allows drivers to park in metered spots located in the Kryzsko Commons lot as well as Johnson Street.

Erich Schweitzer, News Reporter

Winona State University just added a new element to its system of parking services by replacing parking meters with an app that students will use to pay to park in specific areas in and around campus.

The app is called ParkMobile, and it went into effect Wednesday, Jan. 18. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, students must pay an hourly fee of two dollars to park in the ParkMobile zones located in the silver lot outside the bookstore and Sheehan Hall as well as along Johnson Street. Since many students at the university are already displeased with the parking situation, this does not come as good news to many.

Winona State University Parking Services sent out a couple of emails explaining how the app works. According to the email, the way it works is that students choose which zone they want to park in, how long they will be parked there for and then pay through the app. However, these parking sessions cannot exceed nine hours for the Johnson Street zone or one hour for the bookstore zone.

Another important thing to consider in the email is that there is no parking in the Johnson Street ParkMobile zone from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., Monday through Sunday.

The beginning of the email reminds students to register with the app, stating that “any vehicle not registered can be cited.”

There is also a link to the ParkMobile website, showing features such as reserving parking spots and contactless payment. No reason is given in the email for why the university is implementing this app, though that is not to say that there is not one.

Users who park are able to pay for their spots using the ParkMobile app. Some students explain how this can be a way for the university to generate more funds. (Jiovani Bermudez)

Regardless, many students seem to be unhappy with this decision to implement ParkMobile. To gauge their opinion, students were asked about their perspective of Winona State’s parking services and the new app through Yik Yak, the social media message board app popular among college students that allows users to submit questions and responses anonymously.

The following sources all choose to remain anonymous.

One student commented that “students mainly parked in that area and now we have less parking spots.”

For students living on campus finding parking is already difficult with the limited amount of space available and with many of the parking lots requiring students to purchase a parking permit just to leave their car there.

To obtain a parking permit, a student must complete an application. Parking permits are awarded on a first come first served basis, and still they are not guaranteed a permit. The cheapest is the Grey parking permit which costs $35 per year and the most expensive is the Gold parking permit which costs $245 per year.

Even with parking passes though, another student claimed that “with a parking pass I literally can’t find a spot, this just makes it worse.”

However, it seems that there are also some supporters of this implementation of ParkMobile.

One user commented “I think it is a great investment and a good way for Winona to generate more money in this time of need.”

Regardless of what one thinks about ParkMobile, Winona State has already put it into effect and is enforcing that students use the app to pay for parking in the bookstore and Johnson Street zones.