UK Parking and Transportation Services wins big in Vegas

By Kelsey Thomas

UK parking and Las Vegas seem to be an unlikely pair. But this year in Sin City, UK Parking and Transportation Services is being honored for being “more than just parking spaces and buses.”

The International Parking Institute named UK PTS the 2010 Parking Organization of the Year.

The award was presented on May 12 during the Industry Gala, which took place at the 2010 International Parking Institute Conference and Expo. The conference is the largest gathering of parking and transportation professionals in the world.

Chrissie Balding Tune, PTS spokeswoman, said PTS won the award for offering a full package.

“I know there is a connotation on campus of (PTS) just (being) about writing citations or having to pay permit fees, but we do have things that will educate the community about the other programs we offer,” Tune said.

In addition to parking and permits, there are shuttles to basketball games, campus buses and the Ride Home Express, which offers students a ride home to 29 cities — from Atlanta to Cleveland, Ohio — beginning with Fall Break 2010.

PTS was also recognized for utilizing social media outlets like Twitter (@UKParking) and a radio station, 1700 AM, to keep the campus community updated.

“The University of Kentucky’s Parking and Transportation Services exemplify how talented and dedicated parking professionals can favorably impact their community,” said Shawn Conrad, executive director of the International Parking Institute, in a UK news release.

PTS was in competition with several other universities and municipalities, including the University of Georgia, the Winnipeg Parking Authority and the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Tune said it was an important recognition for the department because of a typically negative view of the parking department on campus. The award is an opportunity for students to see the positives of PTS, she said.

The IPI was founded in 1962, and is in its fourth year of the Professional Recognition program. Award recipients are nominated and then chosen by a committee of member picked by the IPI chairman of the board.

Because of its innovation and leadership in its field, PTS will be highlighted in the June 2010 issue of The Parking Professional magazine, along with other award winners and finalists.

Tune said the award will help students and parents to see the big picture of what PTS has to offer.

“I hope for students, and especially for parents when they are coming to campus … realize we have experience and have been recognized by our peers,” Tune said.