Parking fees hiked to ‘keep standards,’ promote transit use

September 23, 2008 by  

Kwantlen students are paying more to park, but the college says rates are still low compared to other colleges.

Kwantlen students are paying more to park, but the college says rates are still low compared to other colleges.

Kwantlen students who drive to school but don’t have parking permits have seen a small hike in parking rates.

Both daily and four-hour parking fees have increased by 25¢, with daily parking costing students $4, and a four-hour fee now $2.75. Weekly e-permits are now $13, up $1, and carpool semester permits have risen $5 to $82.50. Unreserved and reserved semester permits have been increased $5 and $10, and now cost $95 and $165 respectively. There have been no changes made for two-semester permits.

“Comparative to all other colleges around the area, like BCIT, Capilano, Douglas and Langara, we are still relatively low with the parking rates,” said Sandy Kwan, reporting and systems accounting analyst in Kwantlen. “Just because our rates are relatively cheaper compared to all other colleges…that was the main reason [for the increase].”

Even with Kwantlen’s new status as a university, Kwan explains that the institution was comparing parking rates with other polytechnic universities, such as BCIT, rather than larger universities like UBC and SFU, whose rates “are still quite a bit more.”

“We want just to keep our standards with all the other colleges, too,” Kwan said.

Kwan said another reason Kwantlen decided on the increase was the number of students who park without paying. “[Students] would just park without a parking ticket or without a parking pass and they would probably get one ticket every few months. So in relation, it was still cheaper to get the ticket rather than buy the parking pass,” said Kwan.

Kwantlen is also hoping increased parking fees will promote public transportation. “By increasing the rates, people will more likely be taking transit…there are more and more cars each year on the road, and if some were to take transit, that would free up space,” said Kwan.

The increased rates will also help pay for parking improvements in the Surrey and Cloverdale campuses, Kwan said.


3 Responses to “Parking fees hiked to ‘keep standards,’ promote transit use”

  1. Steve Lee on September 23rd, 2008 9:59 am

    In 2002 when everything was deregulated and the school could increase tuition and other fees as high as they wanted — the parking rates first went up from $1 a day. They have been steadily increasing every year.

    And Kwantlen always says it will pay for improvements to existing parking – but to be honest, I haven’t seen many improvements recently. When the library expanded and building C expanded, parking changes occurred to accommodate the construction. But nothing else has happened since then. If they are used for improvements, why didn’t last year’s increases help pay for paving the gravel backlot behind D & E Building? And what improvements are needed exactly at Cloverdale – a brand new campus?

    And if Kwantlen is comparing itself to BCIT and other campuses, why is the BCIT Burnaby, Great Northern Way & Marine campuses cheaper to park at (I don’t include the downtown campus as parking downtown anywhere is already crazy expensive)?

    At Douglas, it seems you pay more at New West where there is very little room to begin with. At the David Lam Campus which is more similar in layout to any of our Kwantlen campuses, again, parking is cheaper!

    Langara is higher, but it’s free on weekends and after 5pm you pay a reduced rate… but as I excluded the downtown campus, Langara is also in Vancouver where parking tends to be at a premium…

    Capillano, which is also similar to Kwantlen campuses in terms of layout is well again cheaper…

    At the University of the Fraser Valley, parking is again cheaper… (no wonder Langley students are choosing to go to UCFV instead of Kwantlen!)…

    Malaspina (now Vancouver Island University) is also cheaper…

    The only lower mainland institution that doesn’t appear to have parking information listed is VCC. And in looking at the UBC / SFU sites, it appears parking prices vary depending on where you park. Of course their campuses are much larger than Kwantlen campuses, and it seems the closer you are to the buildings, the more you pay.

    Again, I don’t feel it’s fair for Kwantlen to compare our rates to the Vancouver campuses or the much larger UBC / SFU campuses. And the assertion that they hope more students will ride transit – that may work fine for Richmond & Surrey students where transit is somewhat reliable but you’re left in the dark if you go to Cloverdale or Langley where transit service is stuck in the stone age.

    Even before the increase that happened this month, it appears we were still relatively more expensive than most of the above institutions – who probably also increased their rates on September 1. So what’s the story morning glory?

    Ultimately, I’d love the Chronicle to do a follow up story comparing Kwantlen’s rates to other institutions and asking them again to justify the increases. And how much revenue is made from parking? Does that money go into a parking improvement fund separate from Kwantlen’s general revenue pool (probably not)? But if it does, how much is in there? I’d also be interested in reading about what improvements have been made on each campuses with each year’s increase, since the increases started occurring back in 2002.

    - Steve

  2. chris on September 25th, 2008 12:17 am

    So Kwan is saying that they increased fees because they don’t want your business?
    They’d rather you take transit (getting to Richmond campus, what transit?) than pay them.
    Also, raising fees to keep in line with other schools?
    A company that doesn’t want the right to boast much lower fees and would rather remain at par with it’s ‘competitors’?
    It all sounds very far fetch’d, just fess up and admit that you want our money!

    P.S. Paint that damn speed bump at Richmond campus before someone cracks a rim!
    It’s a bit tricky seeing a sevin-inch unmarked bump when it’s pitch black out.

  3. John O'Brian on October 30th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Keep in mind that one year ago they went up from $3.00 all day to $3.75, so this smaller increase sits on top of a mound of other increases, both large and small, stretching back to 2001.

    I happen to have a copy of an email sent to out regarding a parking fee increase that includes some elaboration on Kwantlen’s plans for parking improvements:

    “The funds realized from this increase will offset increased costs and fund improvements in security, lot maintenance, planning and eventual development of a new parking structure at Richmond, paving the gravel lot at the Surrey Campus (resulting in additional spaces) and supporting additional student scholarships. It is our intention to freeze the new parking rates for three years.”

    Wow, all of those things sound really cool! Kwantlen should totally pave the Surrey lot and build multi-story parking in Richmond! Unfortunately, this email is dated June 4, 2001, and announces the first increase from $1 a day.

    Well, I’m sure this time there actually will be parking service improvements.

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