Even parking meters can text now

In what is just more evidence showing the universality of text messaging, new parking meters in Michigan can text customers. 

Michigan State University (MSU) officials, in an attempt to modernize their parking offerings, have installed new parking kiosks that will send text alerts to parkers when their time is running out.

The meters are called pay-by-the-plate kiosks. When customer park, they enter their license plate number into the nearest kiosk. Parking is $1.80 per hour and can be paid with coin, cash or credit and debit cards. Once they pre-pay for the amount of time they select, users then have the option to input their phone number to receive an SMS update that their time is running out. 

Once they receive the text, users also have the option of adding time right through their device.

MSU student David Schmidt told the Lansing State Journal that the new meters texting capabilities add an extra layer of security to public parking.

"Sending out the texts is really cool," he added.

Currently, there are six kiosks deployed on the Grand River Avenue parking ramp covering about 150 spaces at ground level and in subterranean areas. The idea for the units came about when university officials realized that existing solar-powered meters would not work in their underground structures. They used the opportunity to branch out and modernize, settling on the kiosks.

Implementation began with an eight space test site in 2013 before expanding to the current level. An officer in the MSU police department told the Lansing State Journal that additional units covering 200 spaces in the Trowbridge Road parking ramp should be operational by the end of the summer.

Adding advanced texting capabilities requires a reliable SMS gateway to support the service. Organizations can invest in bulk SMS solutions to ensure they are keeping up with advances in telecommunications technology.