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UBC License Plate-Enable Parking


University of British Columbia (UBC) is the oldest higher learning institution in British Columbia, Canada, and enrolls over 57,000 students. With over 8,000 spots at its main downtown campus, UBC uses the Security Center AutoVu™ automatic license plate recognition system to enhance parking services and enforcement.

The University of British Columbia is the oldest higher learning institution in British Columbia, Canada, and enrolls over 57,000 students every year. Its main campus is located just outside the downtown core of the city of Vancouver, and spans more than 400 hectares. While the University is a proud supporter of sustainable travel, UBC Parking Services provides approximately 8,000 parking spaces spread across three main surface lots, nine small lots and six parking garages.

The company

UBC Parking Services had been using T2’s Flex Permit Management system to issue and manage a variety of different decal permits for their campus lots. While the T2 system provided tremendous flexibility in the types of permits that could be issued, enforcement had become challenging. Visually identifying physical permits on car dashboards or finding vehicles with unpaid fines was a long and unproductive task and issuing the printed decal permits also consumed valuable staff resources.

The challenge

“AutoVu integrated very nicely with our T2 system, and it gives us a customer-centric, unified and simplified parking management platform. It’s money well spent in a
cash-strapped environment.”

Brian Jones, Director of Parking and Access Control Services, UBC


AutoVu has allowed UBC to move away from issuing physical permits. This has significantly reduced administration time and costs and has simplified the registration process for university customers who now use their license plate numbers as their permits when registering online or in person. UBC was able to easily integrate their existing T2 system with the AutoVu System to create a fully-supported license plate-enabled parking system.

The implementation of the AutoVu ALPR system has been so successful, that the University has been able to recoup its investment, mainly by encouraging better compliance. “Many lots are not gated, so AutoVu has been really helpful in terms of heightening compliance and getting people to pay for their permits, if they were not previously doing so. In turn, this had led to a quick return on investment; probably in less than 6 months,” said Jones.

The solution

Unified parking management system

UBC integrated the AutoVu system with parking technologies such as T2 systems and Luke II multi-space meters. “We have unified parking management with tremendous flexibility,” said Jones.

Big savings on gateless lots

By going gateless with AutoVu, UBC improved enforcement productivity by 40%, deferred $400K in capital expenses on gate barriers and cut operational costs by $200K on each parkade.

Improved services with lot counts

The AutoVu system provides real-time lot counts so that UBC can use key performance indicators to either improve overall parking services, or direct traffic to parkades during events.

The convenience of mobile payments

Transient guests enter their license plate information into the meter, select the amount of time, and pay. Mobile payments are also supported, ensuring easier and improved service for users.