OPINION: New WSU parking app is a success

AMP helps off-campus students, simplifies parking process

WSU%27s+new+AMP+app+is+a+streamlined+success%2C+allowing+students+to+park+on+campus+with+ease.+

ANISSA CHAK

WSU's new AMP app is a streamlined success, allowing students to park on campus with ease.

GRACE LAPIERRE, Evergreen columnist

It should come as no surprise that I am not fond of parking on campus at WSU.

When paying for a more expensive dorm, like Olympia Avenue, which is where I lived last year, no one wanted to pay over $300 to park in the parking lot outside the hall.

I forked over roughly $120 and took a hike down the hill to my car whenever I wanted to go somewhere.

While parking for on-campus residents remains the same, there is good news for those of us who have moved to off-campus housing.

On Aug. 19, I received an email from WSU Transportation Services about the new Aims Mobile Pay app, allowing students to park on hourly rates as opposed to purchasing a daily permit. Choose your parking zone, choose how long you’ll be there and pay. Sounds quick and easy, right?

It makes me excited for future students, as well as for when we shift back to in-person learning, because it is meant to make parking more cost-effective for students.

The email did leave me wondering about a few things. It seemed like the app had been made in response to the pandemic, and I was worried that once we return to normalcy, the app might no longer be accessible.

Cody Wilson, customer service, administration and marketing/outreach manager for WSU Transportation Services, wrote in an email that the AMP app will continue to be used after the pandemic is over.

The 16 locations where AMP may be used to pay for parking can be found on Transportation Services’ website under Pay-As-You-Go, he wrote. The map marks the lots with their hourly rate and shows pay stations.

At this point, I was feeling pretty good about the app. The South Beasley lot on the Pay-As-You-Go map seemed to correspond with Green 5 on the regular parking map for Pullman’s campus.

To get a green permit, which gives you access to five different parking areas (significantly more individual lots), it costs $7.16, but to park in the South Beasley lot with AMP, it is $1 per hour.

If you are going to be on campus for less than seven hours, the app absolutely is more cost-effective.

A red permit costs $2.05 for the day, applies to three areas, and when compared with the hourly rate for the Tennis Court lot (Red 5) of 50 cents, that gives us four hours of parking before we would be saving money with a daily permit.

That being said, I think most students who use the app will do so because they will not be on campus for more than a few hours, making it a great option.

Layne Padelford, sophomore apparel, merchandising, design and textiles major, said she had recently used the app and enjoyed the experience. She said since she was only on campus once a week for one class, not having to pay for a full day of parking was much more convenient.

“You could set it for shorter or longer periods of time,” Padelford said. “If you wanted to set it for something, like 15 minutes, you could set it for 15 minutes and run something into a professor.”

Padelford also said the app allows students to park in different lots within the same day, depending on where they need to be without buying a new day pass.

Students may get to take the bus without paying extra if they have their student ID on them, but the bus won’t always line up with their schedules. The app is a step forward for parking at WSU, giving those who live off-campus a significantly more convenient and cost-effective option for coming to campus.

The AMP app was a great idea and so far it seems like it has been well-executed. Even if I only save a few dollars on parking using AMP, that’s great — a few dollars a day adds up.