Changes to parking are coming to the Thompson Rivers University campus after the university considered proposals from student and staff unions on campus and considered its own master plan.
“It is time for us, as members of the TRU community, to reconsider how we use transportation and parking resources,” wrote Matt Milovick, vice-president of administration and finance, in a letter to the TRU community.
Beginning Sept. 1, 2017, parking lots on campus will no longer be divided into staff and student lots. Instead, existing staff lots will become “premium” lots where students can purchase reserved permits for up to 70 per cent of the spaces in that lot, with the remaining 30 per cent being made available to employees.
Right now, parking spaces fall into one of three types: general, staff and reserved. With the new system, spaces (and lots themselves) will fall into five types: economy, general, premium and gated premium.
Campus’ general lots, which are first-come, first-served for both students and staff, include lots on the north side of campus, a lot in the north east corner, a lot on the corner of Summit and McGill and another on the corner of Campus Drive and McGill.
Premium lots are closest to buildings and include lots on either side of Old Main, behind the library and near the Ken Lepin science building.
Existing gated lots will become gated premium lots, including lots by the Clock Tower, behind Old Main and beside A&E.
There is only one economy lot, Lot N, located behind the Residence & Conference Centre.
Visitor parking will remain unchanged.
Both students and employees will pay the same reserved space permit prices of $1,050 per year. General parking will remain at $5 per day, except Lot N, which will be $4 per day and offer a half-day rate of $3.
In a statement released by TRUSU, union president Brian Chiduuro said, “It is encouraging that, after our long years of raising concerns and promoting alternatives, TRU has recognized that the current parking system isn’t working for students.”
TRUSU and CUPE both entered proposals regarding changes to parking.
TRUSU’s proposal included eight points, including opening employee lots to students, introducing variable rates ($4 for two hours, $5 for three hours, $6 for four or more hours), increasing the price of reserved spaces to $1,440 per year and charging for parking in the evening and on weekends.
CUPE’s nine-point proposal called on TRU to maintain rates and available spaces until viable alternatives to parking were available. It also called for TRU to introduce a progressive parking rate scale “to assist CUPE employees in lower pay scales who already find it difficult to make ends meet,” and to create a shuttle service to serve employees and students on and off campus. It also called on TRU to construct a $21-million parkade that would demand a reasonable rate to sustain the building.
More information is available on TRU’s parking website.