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parking sign
The new 'HotSpot' sign beside the Fulcrum offices at 631 King Edward Avenue. Image: Bridget Coady/Fulcrum

Pay and display machines to be phased out

The University of Ottawa has recently decided to collaborate with “HotSpot“, an online, bilingual, and Canadian-based mobile app that allows people to pay for parking from their phones. 

The new software has been made live as of the week of Nov .9. The current pay and display system is set to be phased out.

The app is linked to a user’s car and license plate allowing for seamless payment and will notify them when they have exceeded their allotted time in order to prevent tickets. 

The app claims to “transform parking from a drag to a revenue stream” which will allow the U of O to efficiently charge students, visitors, and staff needing to park on campus. 

There are different types of memberships on the app to allow for someone’s different transportation needs, whether that be via car or bus. 

Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, manager of media relations for the U of O, said that the new service provides additional convenience for users. 

“People who park on campus can continue to use our pay & display machines if they prefer, although these will eventually be phased out. Not only does HotSpot provide a more convenient method of payment, but it also reduces the potential spread of COVID-19 by eliminating common touch points.” 

For the University’s benefit, HotSpot can also be a useful implementation tool as it allows parking enforcement to easily see who has paid or not for parking, and ticket them right on the app. 

The company’s website says that they are “the complete enforcement solution to identify and ticket unpaid parkers with ease.”

The new program will help cut down the number of paper tickets printed per year, as well as make the job of catching unpaid or overdue parkers easier. Features include a map, street signage, ticket resolution, and customer service support.

The U of O is paying a small convenience fee to HotSpot, however, parking fees remain the same as previous years.