Campus meter maids on 24-hour patrol
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Anyone thinking about driving to campus may decide to take the bus instead, due to efforts by parking services to completely change all meters to a 24-hour system.
Dave Hill, manager of parking services, said the decision to charge for parking at meters 24-hours a day, eliminating free parking at night, was passed last year but had not been fully enforced until a few weeks ago because of inconsistent labelling on the meters.
The mislabelled meters were noticed by patrolling staff in the summer, whose numbers had increased due to a cutback on Western police. "The core meters had been done but outlying meters had to be changed," Hill said. The meters charge $1.75 per hour.
Yet other schools may not see the need to patrol parked cars all night. Elaine Koolstra, manager of parking services at Waterloo University, said the university is regulated for 24-hour meter parking at $2 per hour but it is generally not enforced.
"There are police on campus but they are usually more concerned with safety issues and keeping lane-ways open for police and fire trucks," Koolstra said. Meters are enforced until the end of the last class at 10 p.m..
Lucille Turner, manager of parking services at the University of Guelph, said it is just not cost effective to patrol 24-hour meters. The current charge for regular parking is $182.85 for the year, but there will be a review and most probably a raise in prices for next year.
Western also charges much higher prices for regular parking at $205 per year and $120 per term for students. Faculty and staff with a grey pass pay $204 a year while those with an orange pass pay $342 per year. One of the lower charging schools was Waterloo at $102 per term.
The City of London has yet to institute any 24-hour meters but parking manager Terry Kew said the location of a meter determines its hours. Most paid parking around the city operates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday with the exception of areas such as St. Joseph's Hospital where meters operate until 9 p.m..
"Western was probably looking at turnover and cutting down on employee parking," Kew said. Meters around the city charge $1.25 per hour.