The University of Alabama has added 350 contactless, pay-by-the-hour parking spaces on its Tuscaloosa campus through the ParkMobile app, the school announced this week.

The app will offer students, faculty, staff and visitors the opportunity to park on in on-campus spaces without an expensive annual parking pass and completely free contact with people or traditional parking meters in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Approximately 350 spaces on campus have been converted to ParkMobile spaces. The largest pod areas are as follows:

  • Campus Drive Parking Deck Surface Lot - 123 spaces
  • Ferguson North Lot - 73 spaces
  • Upper Recreation Lot - 41 spaces
  • NE Stadium Lot - 24 Spaces
  • 4th Street East - 18 spaces

After downloading the free app, a user selects the zone number posted on signs near the space, chooses the amount of time they plan to park and touches the "Start Parking" button to begin. Users can also extend their time sessions entirely within the app.

The cost to park remains is 50 cents for the first hour and $2 for each subsequent hour. A transaction fee of 35 cents for app use is added to the first hour.

The spaces are active now and are available for use. However, they will not be available during large special events including football games.

Amy Haines, Associate Director of Parking at UA, said if the technology is well-received by faculty and students, the University is considering converting more spaces into ParkMobile spots.

"This is a cost-effective alternative for those individuals who do not park on campus on a daily basis yet seek a safe, legal, and convenient parking option in highly desirable areas at a nominal price," Haines said.

ParkMobile's software is integrated with UA's parking technology, and staff will automatically know who has registered with the app and paid for time, so there should be no concern over unfair parking tickets.

The app is already used in more than 3,000 US communities, including in Birmingham and Auburn.

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