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Earlier this week, parking garages at Washington University have debuted a gate-arm technology that required radio frequency identification (RFID) parking passes. Starting this past Monday, the Danforth University Center, Milbrook, Snow Way, and West Campus garages have all been equipped with this innovative gate-arm technology that enables cars to enter and exit these vicinities. The system utilizes RFID, which uses radio waves to interact with the circuit embedded inside the parking pass placed on the car windshield.

These new gate-arms will replace the old system of swiping ID cards to gain entry in campus garages. Current annual permit holders can approach the gate entrance of each garage in their vehicles, and have their parking pass scanned automatically. The university’s parking and transportation services mentioned how some vehicle windshields cannot be penetrated by the radio waves used for RFID. The new systems will be programmed to allow evening passes after 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. on weekends. While the gates will be in the down position at all times, the system is programmed to not charge between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

As of January 26, daily permit passes will no longer be used at the garages, and visitors without parking passes can still park in each of the garages by pulling a ticket at the entrance and paying on the way out. The university’s Director of Parking and Transportation Gwendolyn Bolden believes these changes will provide the University with more statistics of how each of the parking garages are currently being used, especially after regular business hours. The data will then be used to further improve traffic and parking conditions throughout the rest of the campus.

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