UC Irvine buying permits online

The University of California at Irvine recently unveiled a new application

that allows the school's 18,000 students to purchase parking permits online.

Designed and implemented by QuickStart Technologies, the online system

integrates Internet transactions with the existing in-person and automated

telephone services. The new system, which debuted last week, makes transactions

quicker and offers more account information and payment methods without

increasing administrative costs or requiring additional staff, officials

said.

"The need to upgrade our system was driven by the expansion of the school,

which is targeted to be the fastest growing campus in the UC system during

the next few years," Michael Delo, director of UCI's parking and transportation

services department, said in a release. "We had to find a way of leveraging

technology to empower us to do more with the same number of staff members

[and QuickStart] provided us with the right blend of e-business technology

expertise to do just that."

The project cost about $150,000, said QuickStart's business development

manager Lesley Bunte. "Everything is done through the Web and the permit

is mailed within 24 hours. Also, now they do their printing in-house and

that used to be outsourced."

UCI students, who order up to 10,000 parking permits per quarter, can

now purchase full quarter-length permits through the new system, as well

as get prorated prices on permits if they come to school later in a term

or need special night, weekend or visitor passes.

QuickStart was to develop a second phase of the project that will enable

students and faculty to make citation payments online, Bunte said, but that

has been deferred while the company fine-tunes its current system and explores

partnership deals.

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