TRU Parking Changes and Plans: Fees Frozen but no Parkade

Parking on campus has been an issue of common concern for students, staff, and faculty for some time. Since September 2017, however, the campus community has also wrestled with reduced parking spaces due to construction and the implementation of the new Sustainable Parking Framework. TRU has had one semester of experience with the controversial system. Now, the Student Caucus has called on TRU to evaluate the impact and (re)consider options to ease the struggles commuters face.

In the Student Budget Consultation, students identified parking as a priority for improvement for the last three years. Key issues include unaffordability, a lack of value, a need for transparent and restricted use of revenue, a need for space and demand management, a lack of rate options, and a lack of viable transportation alternatives.

The Student Caucus has struggled to work productively with the university administration to address students’ concerns with parking since 2015. The February 2017 announcement of the Sustainable Parking Framework by the administration came nearly a year after attempts at negotiation as well as deliberations by the Parking Appeals and Advisory Committee. Unfortunately, the new plan was announced without consultation with the Student Caucus or any other stakeholder. As a result, it reflected only a small minority of students’ interests and raises many more concerns.

Since then, the Student Caucus has continued to raise these concerns and made recommendations to address the most troubling aspects of the new system including affordability and lack of space. In response, the TRU administration has made the following reports and decisions:

  • Recommendation: Report on the implementation of the Sustainable Parking Framework in terms of its effect on single-occupancy vehicle use, demand management, and alternative transportation
    • Daily permit sales dropped 3.5% from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, which may suggest reduced vehicle use
    • The TRU Rideshare usage has not met expectations, but did increase
    • Zip Car usage has not met expectations of 350 registered users, with about 200
    • UPASS usage has increased 24.5% from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017
    • TRU has also committed to lobby for further transit improvements to campus
  • Recommendation: Report on the use of the 20% discount on parking passes for students living outside the transit area
    • TRU honours the discount, but only 10 students used it in Fall 2017 – there are no commitments to increase usage amongst eligible students
  • Recommendation: Reconsider rate increases and investigate options that are more flexible and sensitive to affordability and fairness
    • TRU will not increase parking rates for the 2018/19 academic year, providing at least one year of relief
  • Recommendation: Include structured/underground parking in the Five-Year Capital Plan to maintain the total parking spaces as per the Campus Master Plan
    • TRU will not include structured/underground parking in the Five-Year Capital Plan because “there is neither the demand nor a financial model that allows for affordable parking in a structured or underground parkade.”
    • TRU will close Lot A1 and most of L2 in summer 2018 (loss of 168 spaces), but reopen Lot E (addition of 50 spaces) and create temporary economy lots beyond Lot N and Lot W (addition of 345 spaces) – a total reopening/addition of 227 spaces

These responses provide some relief in the form of a one-year freeze on parking rates and the addition of temporary parking at the edge of campus during construction. However, a lot of work remains to make getting to and from campus affordable, fair, and reasonably convenient. The Student Caucus will continue to push TRU for further improvements.

 

 

Student Budget Consultation

To stay up-to-date on all of TRU’s responses to your priorities, check out the Student Budget Consultation webpage!

Click Here to Participate in this Year’s Survey!

 

Full TRU Response on Parking

To see the full response to the recommendation for parking, click here.

 

For more information, contact:

Tatiana Gilbert
President

t.gilbert@trusu.ca
250.828.5289

 Alex McLellan
University Governance Coordinator

governance@trusu.ca
250.828.5289

 

To participate in this year’s Student Budget Consultation survey, click here.

For more information, contact:

Tatiana Gilbert

President

t.gilbert@trusu.ca

250.828.5289

Alex McLellan

University Governance Coordinator

governance@trusu.ca

250.828.5289