Case Study: Camosun College
Camosun College uses a Student ID Card System that validates the student’s U-PASS eligibility at the time the card is being issued. If eligibility is confirmed, U-PASS data is encoded on the card’s magnetic stripe, eliminating the need for the student to purchase a separate bus pass from a transit office. The U-PASS is given to all Camosun students taking at least one course on-campus, and provides unlimited access to Victoria’s buses provided by BC Transit. All passes have a four-month expiration date, and students are required to renew the benefit at one of the two campuses.
Like most colleges and universities in North America, during the first weeks of each term, Camosun College experiences a significant increase in activity at its Card Office and Library. Returning students are renewing the U-PASS, while new students are queuing up to get their Student ID Card. Requests for ID Cards are being received and processed at a frantic pace. Considering the scale of Camosun’s operation and service focus, a significant amount of resources needs to be allocated in order to handle the temporary spike in demand. To renew a U-PASS, Camosun staff were required to first verify the identity of the cardholder and then swipe the Student ID Card on one of the card readers, which were installed at PCs at the Library’s front desk. It was a labor-intensive process that required extra staff and equipment during peak periods. Once identity and eligibility were confirmed, the staff member would then re-swipe the card to encode the new magnetic stripe information on the card. The process would take at least 30 seconds to complete, and much longer if a problem occurred. Experiencing steady growth over time and longer lineups, the temporary resources and manual processes involved in renewing the U-PASS became a costly bottleneck that had a direct impact on the campus experience.
The manual process that required significant human and technical resources was replaced by card encoding kiosks designed and developed by E-CARD. Each semester, instead of lining up at the library to have the U-PASS renewed, students now go to any wall-mounted card-encoding kiosk. When the card is inserted, the information is read from the magnetic stripe and compared to the Student Record System to determine future eligibility. Once the U-PASS renewal is authorized, the kiosk encodes the updated information on the card, enabling the Camosun Student to continue using the transit services, while ensuring program compliance through a simple and effective process. The entire process takes only seconds to complete.