Campus News

Parking Services receives awards for customer service improvements

UGA Parking Services was recently recognized for excellence by the International Parking Institute. Parking Services received an honorable mention for Organization of the Year, and LeAnne Fouche, a parking monitor in the North Campus Parking Deck, was recognized as Staff Member of the Year.

The institute, comprised of thousands of parking organizations from universities, hospitals, municipalities and private enterprises, recognized award winners at its 2010 conference and expo held in Las Vegas in May.

Fouche previously received a gold medal for Customer Service Excellence Individual of the Year as part of the 2009 University System of Georgia Chancellor’s Awards. She was selected first among 275 nominations from more than 30,000 employees of the University System.

This is the second consecutive year Parking Services has been runner-up in the best organization category. This year’s winner was the University of Kentucky.

Manager of Parking Services Don Walter said the award is for his organization’s “rapid improvement in customer service.”

“We’re so proud to get this international honor,” said Walter, “We are committed to improving the parking experience at UGA, and this award is a nice tribute to all the hard work UGA Parking Services employees have put in over the last year helping to launch our new initiatives.”

The nomination letter for the award cites a number of innovative projects on campus, including the re-engineering of the North Campus Parking Deck to reduce customer wait times and the installation of Automated Vehicle Identification technology in certain parking lots that allows for hands-free entry to gated lots and parking decks. Parking Services also increased its emphasis on customer feedback with a redesigned website; the implementation of Remedy, a feedback tracking system; and Any-mouse, a site for anonymous feedback about parking services.

Parking Services isn’t stopping with those projects and is introducing new programs.

Due to customer demand, credit and debit cards are now accepted at all decks with visitor parking: the Carlton Street, East Campus, North, Performing Arts Center and Tate parking decks. Cash will continue to be accepted at all pay locations.

An Expectant Mother Program was launched in April. Women in their third trimester or women with high-risk pregnancies can choose a reserved parking spot by contacting parking services and providing documentation from a doctor.

Parking Services also has eliminated Social Security numbers from departmental use. Customers will use 810 numbers when applying for permits.

In summer, the big project is new lighting for the older portion of the South Campus Parking Deck. The out-of-date fixtures are being replaced with new energy-efficient bulbs that will be connected to computers and motion sensors. The new lighting should be visibly brighter, Walter said. The project will ultimately save energy and will be supplemented by federal environmental funds. Also, the Safe Drive program for faculty, staff and students that provides free vehicle inspections will be offered again this year.