PULLMAN, Wash. — In order to improve customer service, the Washington State University Parking and Transportation services will offer discounts on pre-paid keys for parking meters and a special discounted rate at WSU’s newest parking garage.

Beginning April 1, customers can receive $12 of meter time for every $10 paid when they purchase pre-paid meter keys. That adds 80 extra minutes of meter time value for every $10 of meter time purchased. Meter keys can be used in lieu of coins at the 221 parking meters across campus. There is a one-time $12 refundable deposit required for using meter keys.

Meter keys are currently used by 265 individuals and departments at WSU. Parking officials hope to increase that number because the keys are easier for customers to use since they can easily be attached to a key ring and reduce time spent searching for change. The meter keys can reduce the time it takes parking personnel to collect and count coins. The keys can also prevent the potential loss of coins due to theft.

“By paying up front, we’ve been able to reduce meter rates for students, and provide parking services with a more predictable source of funding,” said Jesse Keene, Associated Students of WSU president and a member of the 15-member Parking System Review Task Force that proposed the discounts.

The WSU Parking and Transportation Services also is offering a reduced rate for parking in the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education garage from April 1 to May 10. Those who park in the garage will pay $1 per hour — 50 cents less than the current rate of $1.50. The daily maximum rate of $10 and the evening and weekend maximum rates of $2 will remain the same.

Parking officials hope to encourage more customers to use the garage, which opened January 2002.

Meter keys can be purchased with cash, check, credit cards, Cougar Cash or Interdepartmental Requisition and Invoice (IRI) at the Public Safety Building on Wilson Road. The Smith Center garage accepts cash, check, Cougar Cash, Visa and MasterCard.