Abstract

The parking options at
the University of Reno are scarce and expensive. Residential spaces are
diminishing and with the increase in new students, the lack of space is only
getting worse. There are enough parking spaces on campus to provide for less
than half of the students. With a run-down public transportation system not fit
for students and a vast campus this produces a large problem. An excessive
amount of tickets are handed out for unauthorized parking. The stress students
face involving curriculum is added to when circling for a parking spot for a
half hour makes them late to class. Students park recklessly with no other
options and the overall attitude towards the school is starting to diminish.
The proposal of Instally, a new parking app will help to decrease parking
issues on campus. Free, and created by a UNR alumni, this application operates
through private parking spots and driveways; it offers neighborhood residents
the opportunity to rent out their parking spots when not in use. As owners make
a profit, the options for student parking expands, and reduces the hassle
parking has created on campus.

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Introduction

Parking at the University
of Nevada, Reno is in short supply. Parking permits for spaces closest to
campus are a minimum of $400 a semester. For a four year degree, that adds up
to at least $3,200. Totaling the price of a full semester of classes, many
students can’t afford to shell out that amount of money on parking. Not to
mention the distance of the closest, most expensive parking garages are still
across campus. Recently the available public parking students gravitate towards
in residential areas has been replaced with more permit parking. This distances
the range of free parking even farther from campus. This results in a heap of
problems for students. In addition to the campus spots being overpriced, there
is a parking spot for 1 in 5 students that are enrolled at UNR. So even if you
can afford one of the spots near campus, there may not be any left for you to
purchase. Another problem with the lack of parking is the consequences students
face academically. Wasting time finding a parking spot, and arriving late to an
exam could cost you a grade on an exam. This could drastically affect a students’
grade in the class overall. Difficult parking arrangements cause students to be
late to class or sometimes not even bother going. Safety is also an issue. When
students aren’t given the proper spots to park, they tend to get creative: Students
park in loading zones, behind other cars, or in front of driveways. This causes
more accidents, and road rage around the campus community. It also leads to
towing cars, which can be an expensive lesson. Students are constantly hit with
parking tickets and citations. If these aren’t paid in a timely manner, the
school will suspend your graduation date. Taking public transportation has been
a solution for many urban areas. Unfortunately the public transport system in
Reno is run-down, and potentially dangerous for young students. The hassle that
parking brings students is an unnecessary stressor added to the large case load
they are taking on in their classes.

 

Proposal

To help increase student
satisfaction and lower parking related stress, I propose the integration of a
new application. A UNR grad recently created an application called Instally. This
app caters to areas where there is a high demand of parking, and low or
expensive availability. Free to download, this application allows residents to
rent out their driveways and private parking spots. With the entirety of the
area surrounding UNR being residential, this would eliminate a huge problem. Instally
simply asks for a location and gives you the closest possible space to your
destination, and also a second cheaper spot a little farther away. People
living near UNR who work all day have the opportunity to rent out their parking
space for an hourly rate. The residents receive 70% of the proceeds from
renting their space, a generous pay. The owners of the spots can chose the
dates and times that are convenient to them to rent. Spaces can be reserved
ahead of time to eliminate the stress of finding a spot the next morning. Not
only would this solution provide more parking spots to students, but it does it
in an inexpensive way. Instally prices in the long run surpass prices for
parking permits, and avoid the risk of tickets and towing. Additionally, the
owner of the spot makes a little extra money as well, making this app
beneficial for both parties.

 

Goals

The goal of this project
is to make going to school easier, and more motivating for students. If
students are having trouble finding a spot to park, and already feel frustrated
and discouraged before they even step foot on campus, their attitude in class
will diminish. Trouble finding a spot that won’t result in a ticket or tow
causes students to skip class altogether. Having access to more parking would
motivate students to attend classes and help them get there with ease. As a
result of the completion of this project, the stress of being late to class, or
running across campus to make an exam would decrease. Another goal is to give
students a better attitude towards the University overall. Moral and the image
of the University tends to decrease when activities meant to be easy are an
everyday hassle. This problem should begin to diminish when the new app is
installed and marketed around school. This goal is possible with the
advertising of the proposed application and the cooperation of residents in the
area. Word of mouth is a large factor to the accomplishment of these goals,
being most applications and new technology is spread by users telling their
friends. By using incentive through the app, this will also encourage people to
participate. By making money hourly, there is a large benefit to putting up
parking spots on Instally. While the spots are currently sitting all day,
unused, extra profits are attainable through the app while residents are at
work, running errands, or elsewhere. Students can easily reserve a spot and
residents can make a profit without lifting a finger.

 

Review Literature

Many professionals in the
area agree on the lack of available parking. One article sympathizes,
acknowledging how stressful and expensive college already is and
“transportation and parking for college students is often overlooked and only
becomes an issue once it’s too late.” An example of this is the 10,600 parking
citations written at University of Central Florida in under two years. Students
aren’t made aware of the issues and the rules of campus parking until they owe
hundreds of dollars in fines, not allowing them to graduate until they are paid
off. Campus police are ruthless when it comes to giving parking tickets. The
article sympathizes by claiming they, “understand that you have an exam at a
specific time and by being just a few minutes late you could fail an important
course because your means of transportation are an inconvenient option.” Sometimes
it’s the difference between parking in an unauthorized spot and missing an
exam. The choice is clear.

Student’s at the
University of Illinois at Chicago were given a survey, and rated the parking at
their school a C minus. One of the reasons behind this rating was the
overpriced parking on campus and the fact that “free parking around UIC does
not really exist.” The same problems lies around the campus at UNR. After the
only free resident parking spots surrounding campus were just recently turned
into permit parking, there are no options left for students. Many college kids
face enough fees as it is, and adding extreme parking fees to it is
discouraging and unnecessary. The article argues “while tuition and enrollment
both continue to rise, parking facilities are not keeping up with the pace,”
proving if Universities want to raise their enrollment numbers they need to accommodate
for those numbers. The article also discusses the discord with residents around
the University of Illinois. The neighbors of the school have become agitated
with the number of parking spots taken up by students for hours at a time. By
taking advantage of Instally, the residents would benefit from the students
parking in the area, and the tension between them would decrease.

 

Current
and Pending Support

The
initial downloading of the application is free, cutting down costs for
individual students. The only cost acquired is the amount they are willing to spend
on parking spaces provided through the app. Ryan Klekas entered the Sontag
Entrepreneurship Competition in 2016 in hopes for funding the initial launch of
the application. He won the grand prize of $50,000, giving him the start he
needed to initiate his idea. Funding through others in the entrepreneurship
program have provided him financially for research and changes that will only
improve the application.

 

Evaluation

 Creator of Instally Ryan Klekas has begun
running trials of his new application. He claims, “I had multiple people pay
for it on numerous occasions. They had nothing but great things to say about
it, ‘this really got me out of a bind. This made me feel way better about
getting up in the morning, knowing I didn’t have to stress about finding a
parking space.” The early testing of his application have been successful and
puts college students a little more at ease. Ryan relays the terrible feeling
he gets when he thinks about the fact that “you can be handicapped by parking
to the point where it stresses you out of to the point where it makes people
reluctant to even come and enjoy the university.” Ryan’s mentor and
entrepreneur Matt Westfield says the application is a future success. He
credits Ryan for the ideas, along with his passion and will to succeed.

 

Conclusion