Volume 92, Issue 56

Thursday, January, 1999

in the books


Talks to change student loans begin

Professor killed in car accident

Directories finally find their way to campus

High schools take notes

Campus parking cost on the rise


Caught on campus

Campus parking cost on the rise

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

Car owners at Western will have to reach a little deeper into their pockets this semester if they want to park in two campus lots.

According to Dave Hill, manager of parking services at Western, a change in the payment structure occurred at both the Alumni Hall and Social Science lots, effective Jan. 1.

At the lot behind the Social Science Centre, the daily rate has changed from a flat $3.50 fee to an $8 deposit. Patrons will be charged $1 per half an hour and an attendant will provide a refund if the amount does not equal the deposit. At the lot by Alumni Hall, the daytime rate has been changed from $7 to $8.

Hill said the changes will not raise revenue collected by parking services by any substantial amount. Last year $2.3 million was collected by all coin and attendant operated lots.

The changes are an attempt to increase turnover at the popular lots, used primarily by visitors to campus. There are only 16 available spots at Social Science and 247 at the Alumni lot for visitors, he said.

'Too often people park in the lots all day," he said. "We have a number of client groups to provide for, especially at the Social Science lot, including pick-ups and people parking for daycare services. Providing more access and quicker turnover is our top priority."

Hill also said annual permit sales are down this year thanks to the bus pass and hoped that indirectly, this increase will encourage people to purchase parking permits. Parking in certain sections of these lots with transponders is prohibited.

The decision was made by parking services and has been in the works since the fall.

Dave Small, VP-finance for the University Students' Council, agreed the new rates will increase turnover and provide for greater service for visitors to campus. He also is not expecting any negative student response since the main users of the lots are not students.

"Most of the people using these lots are visitors and deliveries," he said. "This will help those going in for quick stops since they won't have to pay the full amount.'

Larry Potter, an attendant at the Social Science lot booth, said the new fee rate is beneficial to patrons and said nobody had complained of having to put down the required $8 deposit.

"There are a lot of people coming in for 20 minutes to pick up something," Potter said. "In a lot of ways this new rate is a fairer way for these people."

Fourth-year honours economics student Paul Howitt, a regular user of the parking lots, said he sees little wrong with the changes.

"Money has to come from somewhere. This is just a way to get money," he said. "It's better to tax the guys with cars because they are probably the ones with the bucks."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999