Temple University installs “tap-and-go” systems in two parking garages

The university updated its entry and exit systems in the Montgomery and Bell garages with Blackboard readers in December.

The Montgomery Street Parking Garage on 11th Street near Berks recently had tap-and-go readers for OWLCards installed by the university. | JOHN MORITZ / FILE PHOTO

Temple University’s office of parking services installed its first “tap-and-go” systems which enable entry and exit via OWLCards in the university’s garages, said Temple’s director of parking services, Karen Sherlock.

Parking services installed the readers in the entrance lanes of the Montgomery and Bell garages on 11th Street near Berks in December.

The tap-and-go system can be used by patrons in the same way as Blackboard readers that allow entry into most university buildings: tapping an OWLCard against the reader opens up the garage, Sherlock said.

In the past, patrons would swipe their OWLCards to enter and exit the garages. According to Sherlock, the tap-and-go system prevents customers from relying on the magnetic strip on their OWLCards which is prone to malfunction.

“You no longer have to worry about swiping and the way you swipe,” Sherlock said, “Sometimes the swipe can demagnetize.”

“Every time I have to swipe something, it takes too long and it always works with the touch and go,” said Erin Rafferty, a senior film major, whose family frequently parks in the Montgomery Garage while visiting her.

The installment of the Blackboard readers was the first step towards the Office of Parking Services’ effort to catch-up to the rest of Temple’s facilities, Sherlock said. 

The second phase of the installment involves enabling Blackboard readers at the Montgomery and Bell garages to work with OWLCards on Apple phones and watches, Sherlock added.  

Jillian Kalman, a senior sociology major, understands that having phones working with the Blackboard reader in the garages would be helpful, she said.

“That kind of eliminates the need to get an actual physical ID in case you lost it,” said Kalman, who used the Bell Garage last semester.

The Office of Parking Services does not have a set date for when the Blackboard readers in the garages will work with Apple devices, Sherlock said.

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