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McGill Reporter
April 19, 2001 - Volume 33 Number 15
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On Campus

Of Course

Mischievous about learning church history


For all those users of annual parking permits, add this word to your vocabulary: TRANSPONDER. You're going to need it soon. "Transponder" is parking speak for a three-by-four-inch plastic remote control device which, at 20 feet of distance or less, will automatically open any of McGill's gates or garage doors. By June, the device will replace the monthly or annual "hang-tag" passes now used by the University's 1,200 permit holders.

The automated system, which is already installed in the Bronfman, Burnside, McIntyre and Faculty of Education buildings, is being added to the Milton and Roddick gates as well as to the entrance to the parking lot north of the Montreal Neurological Institute in an effort to curb some of the costs associated with staffing the parking booths.

The University pays approximately $500,000 per year in mortgage payments towards the $5 million renovations done to the parking facilities under the McIntyre Building, explains Alan Charade, director of ancillary services. Further automating parking will reduce the number of full-time parking attendants from 13 to nine. The savings, over time, will also help allow the University to find a way of replacing the approximately 90 spots which will be lost upon construction of the genome and information technology buildings.

Charade hastens to add that neither of the main entrances to the campus nor the MNI parking lot will lose its parking attendant. "You don't take away the butler at the front door," he says with a laugh.

Permit holders will soon be able to trade in their monthly or annual hang tags for a transponder at a refundable cost of $20 for the device.

Parking co-ordinator Jo-Ann Sciampacone says no one need worry about the device interfering with cell phones or hard drives. "It's a very narrow radio signal that goes over a long distance." She's relieved to have the new system because now when people lose their parking permit they will no longer have the excuse that it "flew out the sunroof" or "got thrown out at the carwash."

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