Lets be honest, no one associates UK’s Parking and Transportation Services with any pleasing connotation. This is how I used to feel, but after strolling through their website, I have to say that I’m more than impressed with what they’re striving for at PTS, and that’s user-friendliness.
Now going through their website won’t remove the countless number of parking tickets that lay aimlessly in the hobbit-hole I call my room. Some of these pieces of parcel have been payed for in full, others are there to rot (yes I’m well aware that paper doesn’t rot, but that’s the attitude I think anyone has for a parking ticket.) But what their new website that was created in May does offer, is an individual personal-like experience for everyone regardless of if you’re a student, parent, or employee at the University of Kentucky.
PTS’s Marketing/Promotions Specialist Sr. Chrissie Balding Tune says one of the things that the PTS website is trying to do is bear down the regulations of what you can and cannot do in terms of parking on campus. Tune says that by separating these out and making them more stream-line, customers will have a better understanding of what’s expected of them.
Tune says that another thing the website is doing is “having great working relationships with media outlets and marketing.” If you notice when you go to the Parking and Transportation Services website, there are three large pictures that individualize your search. They’re broken in to:
These choices allow you the option of information that’s more tailored to what you’re looking for.
According to Tune, the old PTS website was more top-heavy with a lot of the information towards the home page. She said it was easy to not find what you were searching for and get lost in the shuffle of information that was being bombarded at you.
Tune also says that the old website had always been used based on PTS brochures, where information from these was just transported from them to the site.
Personally, I for one, have noticed fewer negative stories in the Kernel this year about tickets and students having trouble with parking in general. Now granted I have had the benefit of the doubt with a close parking space to campus for over two years now, but none-the-less I’m a Kernel regular in terms of reading, and have noticed the drastic decline in negativity towards PTS.
They’re making common functions such as applying for a parking permit easier, by explaining the the processes and steps more thorough and in-depth, as well as offering the option to pay for these online. Along with being able to navigate better, they’re communicating with customers better.
Customers now will receive a courtesy warning if they’re not able to pay their ticket at the current moment. Tune says that PTS is able to work with their customers if they aren’t able to pay off their citation in time.
If you’re in the mood to tweet, PTS now has their own twitter account. There are updates about construction, shuttles, permits etc, that can all be followed.
The new look and accessibility through the website is credited to the Content Management System in use. PTS now uses a Drupal CMS, which according to Tune is a big step up from the old website that was coded by hand. She says that now multiple people can edit the page at various outlets across Lexington. She says that none of this would have been possible if UK IT hadn’t integrated Drupal to make it compatible.
As any other entity that strives for more, the Parking and Transportation Services website maintains the mentality that it’s always a work in progress, and that the quest for transparency and user-friendless will always be their goal.