Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω
Typically, I side with students who gripe with university administration over program changes or fee hikes. But there is one gripe I continually hear on TRU campus that I simply cannot bring myself to sympathize with.
Parking rates are too high.
Parking rates are too high? Are you kidding me?
Let me put it to you this way, I understand increasing parking rates by anywhere from 66 to 250 per cent is a pretty steep hike all in one go. But let me give you a little bit of perspective here.
Prior to my two years at TRU, I spent five years in Edmonton at the University of Alberta (U of A). During my last year purchasing parking at that institution (2009-10), I was paying approximately $110 per month for a parking pass that didn’t even get me into the heart of campus. I was left in an outlying lot that wasn’t covered from the blistering north breeze that sends wind chills into the minus-50 realm during the winter months. I was paying nearly $450 a semester and for all you mathematicians out there, $900 per academic year just to be able to have my car on campus.
This year at TRU, I purchased a semester pass for the fall and it ran me for $200.75 bang on. Multiply that by two and what do you get? $401.50. In summary, I am paying less to park for an entire academic year at TRU than I paid to park for one semester at the U of A (back in 2009-10).
Let’s take a look at the daily parking rates of each campus. Here at TRU, a student can park on campus for a paltry $4 a day. The current average visitor (or daily) rate for a parking spot from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the U of A is $13.81, with the highest single rate being $15 and the lowest single rate coming in at $10 depending on which lot you venture to. Still feel like you are getting screwed by the university because you suddenly have to pay $4 a day instead of $2? Try to sell that piece of pie to a U of A student who is paying a minimum of $10 a day.
Even worse? There are “hourly” lots at the U of A that get away with charging one dollar for 15 minutes of parking. You want to park in one of those hourly lots for one full hour? You’re paying the equivalent of an entire day’s parking at TRU campus. Still feel like you’re getting the shaft from TRU Facilities?
To go off of a university campus for a comparison, take a look at the parking situation in downtown Vancouver. The cheapest daily parking I have ever seen down there is $20, with most lots able to charge $25 for a full days park.
I’d like to make one thing clear — I’m not trying to defend administration or the decision to hike parking rates by such an exorbitant amount. What I am trying to say is that rates could have been hiked much, much higher.
The next time you walk up to plug the machine out in that old dusty dirt lot in behind the Clock Tower and are thinking to yourself, “I hate that parking rates are so damn high at TRU,” stop for a moment and think about the poor student at the U of A who is freezing in the middle of December, has to walk a mile to class from his parking spot and paid $14 to do it.