By: Bob Browand
***Update*** - 4/27/16
In the past week, the launch of parking permit sales faced a few hiccups. The issues resulted in long wait times to purchase permits and unresponsive web pages. In response, our team has been working closely with T2 Systems, our software vendor, to determine the cause for the system’s issues and work on improving the performance of the site. Today, the system has been running without any issues, but we’ll continue to work diligently to ensure our permit sales application runs at peak efficiency. I’d like to thank you all for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you’ve experienced over the last week.
***Update*** - 4/21/16
At this time we have temporarily suspended all student parking permit sales for the 2016-2017 academic year while our software vendor works to correct the issue. Unfortunately, we do not currently have a timeline in place for when permit sales will resume, but as soon as we do we will send an email to all students. On behalf of the entire Parking and Transportation Services team I extend my sincere apology for the confusion and chaos surrounding permit sales this week.
If you’ve tried to buy your 2016-2017 permit today, then you’re probably aware that we are having significant system issues. I’d like to explain the current status of permit sales and how we got to where we currently are.
Our plan was to begin selling student permits today, April 20th. Since we recently migrated over to our vendor hosting our parking software, we decided to do a “soft launch” first and then, based on how the system performed, distribute a campuswide email to all students tomorrow. We announced that permits were available shortly after 9am and within 15 minutes the system had crashed. I imagine some of you question the reason behind doing a soft launch since we are capping permit sales and I understand that concern. However our first day sales, even when we do send an email to the entire campus, are typically around 5% of total sales, and given that this soft launch would be targeting a significantly smaller group of students than a campuswide email, we knew that no specific permit type would be disproportionately impacted by this test.
There have been many comments online about the system itself and I’d like to clear the air about it. We utilize a 3rd party software provider that manages the system, and it’s the same one we’ve used for years. This company provides parking solutions to universities (including Harvard, Colorado State and Texas A&M), municipalities (including the city of Houston) and private-industry operators across the country. We are currently working with them to restore full functionality so that we can resume permit sales as soon as possible.
In the meantime, let me assure you that there are still plenty of permits available. In fact, given the almost instantaneous crash of the system, today we’ve sold just over 200 permits out of the 25,000 permits we anticipate selling this fall. When the system is restored, we plan to monitor it before we distribute the campuswide message. Once we are confident that it is stable, we will then proceed with notifying all students via email. Once this happens, the number of people logging in will be substantial so intermittent lags are likely. If you experience any errors and need assistance, please continue to let us know through our social media platforms, email or our call center (832-842-1097).
Thank you for your patience.
published: Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2016