UCSB is using the Internet to make getting a parking ticket a more pleasant experience.

Starting this month, anyone with outstanding parking tickets will be able to pay their fines via the Web through a new online program created by UCSB Transportation & Parking Services. The program, which took six months to develop, will also allow people to appeal citations and purchase permits, Director of Parking Services Tom Roberts said.

“We’re trying to enhance our customer service,” Roberts said. “Nobody will ever enjoy paying for a ticket, and we can’t make parking fees go away, but we can certainly make the process as easy and painless as possible.”

The program will accept a variety of different payment options, including credit card, BARC account, and, for staff members, payroll deductions. With the advent of the new Internet capabilities, paying for tickets will be more efficient and easier, Sales and Citation Manager David Connors said.

“Everything on this campus revolves around the Internet. Students are able to e-mail their professors, use the Internet for research, even check their grades via the Web,” Connors said. “We thought it was our responsibility to offer people these same alternatives using the Internet.”

For many students, the new online program has already made paying parking tickets less time-consuming.

“It was so much easier than before,” said sophomore biology major Nicole Ramirez, who recently paid a ticket online. “I didn’t need to find time to go down to the [Parking Services] office, or stand in line, which was really great.”

In addition, the new online programs have reduced the staff size at Parking Services. Connors said a system for buying parking permits online, launched in Fall Quarter, has been a model for Parking Services. In previous years, Parking Services hired 10 to 12 temporary workers for permit sales and kept a few for the entire year. This year, Roberts said, the office has no temporary employees.

“The online program has really taken the strain off our human resources, a lot of them who were temporary workers,” Connors said. “This helps to cut costs and makes for a much leaner department financially.”

While the online programs will be taking on much of the department’s workload, Parking Services maintains it has not left any permanent employees without jobs, Roberts said.

“As far as my job is concerned, I’m not worried,” parking representative Linda Fromberg said. “There’s always customer service to do, and this way it’s just more efficient and calmer around the office.”

To pay or appeal a ticket on the Web, visit www.scapay.com.