Parking rate increases frozen until at least 2019

Due to the parking sustainability plan parking fees won't increase as planned

Though Lot N may not be as busy as it was last September, the lot still nears its max capacity on a daily basis. (Wade Tomko/The Omega)

TRU’s parking sustainability plan, which was introduced last February, is having its intended effect. According to Matt Milovick, TRU’s VP administration and finance, there are fewer cars on campus and transit use for the August 2017 to December 2017 period is up 24.5 per cent when compared to the previous year.

In addition to this, because of the strength of TRU’s 2018-19 operating budget, the university is not in a position where it would require additional revenue to offset costs, says Milovick.

“The university intends to maintain the rate increase strategy it announced in February 2016 for implementation at a later date depending on the success of our parking sustainability plan and the demand for on-campus parking,” Milovick said. “However, for 2018-19, no increase will be applied.”

Despite TRU’s commitment to not raise parking rates this year, daily usage numbers in regards to revenue are down about $17,000 from last year for the August 2017 to December 2017 period, according to Glenn Read, TRU’s director of ancillary services.

Yet during the same period, TRU earned more revenue through parking passes than last year, Read said.

“When I look at the passes from this year compared to last year we are up slightly to the tune of $30,000,” Read said. “But if you look at the price increases that were implemented at the beginning of this year, I don’t think there was an increase in passes despite the slight increase in revenue.”

Overall, Read says that this year’s parking revenue is slightly up from last year’s, with the main reason for this being the $100 increase to passes in reserved lots. Read also added that gated premium-premium lots previously never existed before and as such have had a significant impact on this year’s revenue.

While many of the premium lots are currently sold out, Read admits that some of the lots aren’t seeing as much use as they used to.

“The changes that we’ve seen were Lot S, which is the one directly behind the Science Building, that one is not being utilized the way it used to,” Read said.

Read mostly attributes this to the greater utilization of Lots N, W and T. Lot N is especially seeing greater use because of the construction of the Reach, something TRU anticipated.

“What would now be referred to as Lot A2 is where the first Reach property is going in, that has impacted approximately 119 stalls and those have been removed,” Read said. “In anticipation of this happening and as we build and develop stuff out, well over a year ago we added 136 stalls in Lot N to anticipate this.”

While other lots have also been impacted by construction, Read says that the effect has been minimal. However, Read admits that preparation for the Nursing Building has affected both the lots on the south side of the clock tower, as students may have noticed.

With Lot N’s higher-than-normal utilization, many students who park in that lot have decided to forgo purchasing tickets. Though this may seem more noticeable to those students who utilize Lot N frequently, Read doesn’t actually believe more students are skipping out on buying tickets.

“I think there has always been a percentage of students that roll the dice and take their chances, not something I recommend, but the patrollers can only do so much in one day,” Read said. “They will continue to do their work and it’s only a matter of time before the people that don’t have the appropriate ticket in their car will get ticketed and or towed.”