Hands-free Parking Access Project Continues

New radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology will be installed in 39 lots

Radio-frequency identification devices like this one are appearing at more lots across campus. Duke plans to have the new system in place at 39 lots by 2016. Photo by Bryan Roth.
Radio-frequency identification devices like this one are appearing at more lots across campus. Duke plans to have the new system in place at 39 lots by 2016. Photo by Bryan Roth.

Duke has moved onto the second half of a long-term project to upgrade technology to offer hands-free access to gated parking lots and garages on campus.

Construction has begun on the third phase of the project, which includes work at 11 parking areas this fall. Beginning this month, the lots started transitioning to radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology for entry and exit.

With this technology, a special RFID tag offers a hands-free mode of parking by raising a gate for a motorist without a Duke community member reaching out to swipe a permit. As a backup, physical permits and DukeCards will still allow Duke community members the ability to enter and exit a lot.

In all, RFID technology will be used for 39 total lots on campus by 2016. Improvements are part of a larger plan to upgrade services for better tracking of parking usage and behaviors, which will enable Duke to tailor its resources better.

“It benefits both us and parkers on campus if we know what we have available, when we have it available, which will allow us better ways to accommodate the needs of our community,” said Melissa Harden, assistant director for Parking and Transportation.

Here are the latest lots where work is taking place this fall:

  • Parking Garage II
  • Parking Garage III
  • Carr
  • Pegram
  • GC Lot
  • Smith South
  • Smith North
  • H Lot
  • Carmichael
  • 705 Broad Street

Once this phase is complete, the next round of lots to receive RFID entry will include the 705 Broad St. lots, as well as Parking Garage I.

As the new system continues to roll out, permit holders for upgraded areas will receive notices from Parking and Transportation Services about what they need to do to get an RFID tag and park.

Harden said Duke community members using RFIDs should apply the sticker tag right below their rearview mirror and make sure to approach automated gates slowly. A green light on each entry gate will let drivers know when their tag has been read.

For more information on the ongoing RFID project, impacted lots and how to properly use RFID tags, visit the Parking and Transportation Services website.