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LSU using social media to help find open parking spots

Published: Sep. 14, 2011 at 10:48 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU has more than 23,000 parking spaces throughout campus, but somehow it can still be hard for students to find a spot. The university believes social media could be coming to the rescue.

Searching for a parking spot can be a long process at LSU. Students circle the lot over and over in their daily hunt for a space - wasting time and gas.  Laurin McKnight drives to campus every day and she said she has to leave her house 30 minutes early each morning to make sure she gets to class on time

"It's pretty hard to park around here, but if you get here early, you're pretty good," McKnight said.

Arriving early is one option, but LSU parking is turning to new media to help students avoid the parking headache. The parking office created a Twitter account this past spring that tells followers when and where spots are available. Director Gary Graham said the Tweets are a quicker way to update the LSU community.

"This is something we've done for years. We used to give traffic reports on KLSU, but obviously the new media is affording us the ability to be a little bit more timely and reach a larger audience," Graham said.

So far the Twitter account @LSUParking has 500 followers, and Graham hopes more students will sign up.

"We've put things in the Reveille, we've put it on our homepage," Graham said. "Just like everything else we just keep trying to get the message out."

LSU's parking office also has a mobile phone application called "Trans-Loc". The app is free and shows real-time where Tiger Transit buses are on their routes. It's available for Blackberries, Androids and I-Phones.

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