As classes at the University of Regina have started transitioning back to in-person learning, many students are once again facing a frustration that comes with it: parking.
“I bought a parking pass at the beginning of January thinking we would be going back at the end of the month,” said Serra Al-Katib, a third-year business student at the U of R.
“Then we didn’t, and I paid a lot more than I should have to only be in person for a month.”
Many students share Al-Katib’s frustration; dealing with parking has been a long-running issue for many university students.
“One time I was parking in an area where parking was enforced from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and I was parked there after 5 p.m. and I got a ticket at 7 p.m.,” said Emily Choboter, a first-year nursing student.
“I thought this was pretty unfair. I tried to appeal it and got denied. I think the parking fees are unfair and wish it was easier to appeal the tickets.”
Dealing with parking enforcement officers and staff is also an issue various students have had to deal with
“I was getting into my car and they wouldn’t let me leave the spot because it wasn’t where I had a permit for, but they hadn’t issued me a ticket yet,” said former student Aidan Mann.
“The parking lot was empty and I was the only car there for a 7:30 a.m. class. The fees are ridiculously too high”
The hourly parking rates at the U of R are $2 an hour for above-ground parking and $3.50 for underground parking. The annual rate for an M lot pass (the most inexpensive year-long parking pass option) starts at $629.75.
Many students feel these prices are unreasonable, particularly in addition to the rising cost of tuition. In 2019, the university switched to a “pay as you go” parking system which replaced parking meters with an app.
“Parking fees are not fair and I don’t even have to think about that one.” said third-year science student Sarah Shoobert.
“Paying to park at the school you already pay to learn at? Are tuition fees not enough?”
The Parking Services website states: “Parking fees are shared and equitable. All individuals who utilize parking facilities on campus must also share in the cost of providing these facilities and services regardless of status (student, staff, faculty, etc.) or guest designation. Parking fees help maintain improvements to parking lot quality and services for your safety and the safety of your vehicle.”
University of Regina Parking Services was contacted multiple times to comment but did not respond.
While the university states that parking fees go towards improving the parking lots, many people can’t help but notice the lack of improvements being made. This includes Saskatchewan TikTok stars Leroy and Leroy, who poked fun at the situation in a video.
There have not been any plans announced to address the queries of students or change the parking fees or the system which is currently being used.