campus news

Parking permits going virtual

Parking ambassador Md Reza uses the in-vehicle License Plate Recogition system to check cars in UB lots to make sure their drivers have permission to park on campus. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published June 7, 2023


Parking permits going virtual

“By using best practices like License Plate Recognition, UB is one step closer to achieving the operational excellence we need to achieve our Top 25 goals. ”
Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration

The parking hang tag is the latest relic left by the wayside in UB’s relentless pursuit of service improvement and operational excellence.

For nearly 25 years, UB has distributed rear-view mirror hang tags to faculty, staff and students as proof of their permission to park on UB’s campuses. But beginning July 1, physical parking hang tags will no longer be used. That’s when Parking and Transportation Services begins using UB’s new License Plate Recognition (LPR) system. From now on, your license plate is your virtual parking permit.

LPR uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read license plates and match them to the vehicle information in UB’s secure parking database. LPR systems have been in use since the ‘70s, everywhere from major highways including the New York State Thruway to such college campuses as Stanford University and North Carolina State University.

Additionally, by not printing more than 25,000 parking hang tags each year, the transition to virtual parking permits also contributes to UB’s sustainability efforts.

“By using best practices like License Plate Recognition (LPR), UB is one step closer to achieving the operational excellence we need to achieve our Top 25 goals,” says Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration. “LPR will automate a time-intensive process while contributing to sustainability and protecting the privacy of our community.”

In the past, UB parking ambassadors monitored parking by manually checking vehicles for up-to-date and valid parking hang tags. Vehicles with invalid or missing hang tags were usually issued parking citations.

Now, all of UB’s parking enforcement vehicles have been equipped with roof-mounted cameras and mobile technology. UB parking ambassadors successfully piloted LPR technology during the 2022-23 academic year.

“We are continually looking for ways to simplify the parking experience and LPR technology helps us do that,” says Chris Austin, director of parking and transportation services. “Using this technology frees up our parking ambassadors to focus on other customer service priorities, like improving traffic flow and assisting commuters with wayfinding.”

More information about the new system can be found in this FAQ section.

Register for your 2023-24 Parking Permit today!

Faculty, staff and students still need to annually register for parking permits and update license and vehicle information at the Parking E-Business Center. Inaccurate information there could result in a parking citation.

Parking Permit Registration Deadlines
Faculty/Staff: June 30
Students: Aug. 1


This is a great initiative to modernize campus facilities!

But how about an online system to log in guests? The parking map on South Campus for visitors remains rather confusing. 

Praveen Arany