By Jillian Poland
Framingham State is now using a new service to issue parking permits and accommodate payments and appeals for parking tickets, said Framingham State Police Department Sergeant Karen Nicholas.
Complus Data Innovations (CDI) began providing the new service in July 2016, said Nicholas.
CDI is “the leading provider of parking ticket management solutions,” according to its website. The company provides businesses and institutions with the computers, handheld devices, printers, barcode scanners and data security networks needed for a parking operation.
The University previously used a company called Rydin to produce parking permits, said Nicholas. To purchase the decals through Rydin, FSUPD had to create a proof of the parking permits for the year, send the proof in to the company and receive a proof from the company for final approval. Rydin then sent boxes of decals to FSUPD to be issued.
Students would have to go to FSUPD and fill out a parking application form, which was kept in a binder at FSUPD, said Nicholas.
Students can now apply for their permits online and their information is sent to CDI to be used for parking permits and citations.
The CDI system is more “integrated. ... It allows us to track a number of things,” said Nicholas.
Parking information is now stored online, allowing the parking clerk’s office and FSUPD to check if a student has more than one pass, if a resident or commuter had a pass in previous years or if a person has any citations, said Nicholas.
Tim Kiley, assistant director of the parking clerk’s office, said the CDI system is “more proficient for tracking outstanding balances and submitting appeals” for parking tickets.
There have been some instances of confusion with the new system, said Nicholas. This summer, resident parking had reached the limit and students were added to the waitlist. However, the company was still sending out approval letters to students that said a pass would arrive in seven days.
Nicholas said this was the result of a mix up and happened through no fault of CDI.
Many students apply for parking and multiple offices are involved in sending student data to CDI, so sometimes “things get lost,” said Nicholas. As a result, some students and faculty have experienced a delay in receiving their permits.
Gianna Zirpolo, a senior commuter student, said she still hasn’t received her parking pass. She said FSUPD told her there will be a three-week delay, but didn’t explain the reason.
“I’ve been running the risk of getting tickets parking in the Salem lots, and I received two in three days,” she said. “I need parking so I can get to work to pay my bills and support myself, not so I can pay parking tickets.”
Ashley Wight, a junior commuter student, said she has also experienced a delay in receiving her parking permit.
She said, “I was listed as a resident for some unknown reason and they told me it needs to be processed through the system that I’m a commuter in order to get my pass.” Wight has been issued a temporary pass until her permit application can be finalized.
Kaitlyn Cullen, a sophomore resident student, said she received her parking pass without delay, but the charge was not added to her fall account until two weeks after the payment was due.
She said, “I had paid for everything else through loans and otherwise, but they put my account on hold because I hadn’t paid for the parking decal. I called and no one ever got back to me, but eventually the hold was lifted.”
Josh Rumple, a junior resident student, said he had no issue applying for and receiving his parking permit this year. The whole process was “super easy,” he added.
Sergeant Martin Laughlin said FSUPD has done a “good job accommodating students” who have encountered problems getting their parking passes.
While FSUPD officers do not have full control over the permit process, they often take the brunt of students’ frustration, added Laughlin. “It is understandable,” he said.
“But we do the best we can with what we have to work with.”