Old parking meters were replaced in August for card-friendly meters that can be monitored remotely by Fort Lewis Police.
The previous meters were 18 years old and due for replacement, said Brett Deming, police chief of Fort Lewis College.
The new meters have SIM cards so information ranging from malfunction diagnostics to time expiration can be monitored from a computer in the campus police station.
“It’s a lot like reading a car computer,” Deming said.
Along with diagnostics, the meters can have messages on them that relay information to users, such as overnight library parking hours, he said.
Meter parking hours have shortened to 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Previously, the hours ended at 5 p.m., Deming said.
“Usually around that time commuters, staff and faculty are leaving campus and K-12 are coming up to use the sports facilities,” he said. “We wanted to make it user-friendly.”
Overnight parking for library use is now designated to the metered spots in the Education Business Hall parking lot. There are future plans to make the metered spots in the Student Union Building parking lot overnight as well, Deming said.
FLC police are also looking into replacing the parking permit machines on Fort Lewis Drive and the front hill.
“The screen on permit machine on Fort Lewis Drive is burned out, and we have had a replacement on order for a month,” he said. “Those machines are definitely something we are looking into replacing.”
FLC police are also in the process of looking for a new parking software to integrate with the current payment software used in the student billing and cashier’s office, Deming said.
“The whole idea is to make parking and payments as easy as possible for the greatest benefit of the college,” he said.
For more parking information, visit the campus police and parking website.