Talysa Dhahan and Brian Russell discuss parking at the Surrey campus, and listen to what students have to say about the situation, as well as covering the CIBC Run for the Cure, which took place on Oct. 3.
Translink’s parking tax increase has raised the price students have to pay to park at Kwantlen campuses. Josh Saggau and Hayley Woodin explain what it means for students and talk to students to see how it’s affecting them.
Kwantlen students got slapped with a parking-fee increase when they went back to school from their winter break on Monday, Jan. 4.
Parking rates have risen from $2.75 for every four hours to $3.25. For all-day parking at any of the campuses, it now costs students $4.75 instead of the $4.
Julian Jones, vice-president of business development at Impark, said the company isnâ€™t collecting any extra revenue from the increase as itâ€™s a result of a tax-hike introduced by Translink. He does, however, admit that â€œsometimes numbers have to be tweaked for a more user-friendly method of payment.â€
The tax that Impark now pays to Translink, which took effect Jan. 1, has risen from seven per cent to 21 per cent and is a 300 per cent jump from 2009.
â€œSince the tax on $1 is 21 per cent, we canâ€™t really charge 21 cents on that. It has to be something more convenient, like 25 cents,â€ said Jones. Gordon Lee, Kwantlenâ€™s vice-president of finance and administration, said that students can expect another fee increase when the HST (harmonized sales tax) comes into effect in July.
â€œKwantlen has been working with Impark for about 10 years and theyâ€™ve managed the lot since they won [the rights to the lots] through a bid,â€ said Lee. â€œThe cost [of parking] goes towards servicing the lot. There are no revenues that the school collects.â€
According to Lee, about 15 years ago, students didnâ€™t have to pay to park on campus, but they had to start charging for parking â€œas the budget got tighter.â€
â€œThe thing is,â€ said Lee, â€œwe donâ€™t get money to make parking lots. But it is required that schools have parking lots that are safe and maintained.â€
Kwantlen students who drive to school but donâ€™t have parking permits have seen a small hike in parking rates.
Both daily and four-hour parking fees have increased by 25Â¢, 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.
â€œComparative to all other colleges around the area, like BCIT, Capilano, Douglas and Langara, we are still relatively low with the parking rates,â€ said Sandy Kwan, reporting and systems accounting analyst in Kwantlen. â€œJust because our rates are relatively cheaper compared to all other collegesâ€¦that was the main reason [for the increase].â€
Even with Kwantlenâ€™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 â€œare still quite a bit more.â€
â€œWe want just to keep our standards with all the other colleges, too,â€ Kwan said.
Kwan said another reason Kwantlen decided on the increase was the number of students who park without paying. â€œ[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,â€ said Kwan.
Kwantlen is also hoping increased parking fees will promote public transportation. â€œBy increasing the rates, people will more likely be taking transitâ€¦there are more and more cars each year on the road, and if some were to take transit, that would free up space,â€ said Kwan.
The increased rates will also help pay for parking improvements in the Surrey and Cloverdale campuses, Kwan said.