Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Sustainability

“We must transform from a campus where single-occupancy vehicles dominate to a campus that is pedestrian-oriented and supports a community that learns, works, plays and lives here. It is time for us, as members of the TRU community, to reconsider how we use transportation and parking resources.”

Questions from the community

As we work towards making these changes, we enourage you to send your questions to parking@tru.ca. Here are some of your concerns.

 How will the parking rates change?

These charts compare current rates to the rates that will be phased in over three years.

 How does the new framework affect parking for persons with disabilities?

Our Accessible Parking Rates are based on the General Parking Rates, which are not being increased this year:

One semester Two semesters Monthly payroll Annual Daily rate
$250 $500 $62.50 $750 $5

This is regardless of whichever lot is parked in.

TRU has disability parking located at main entrances to all its buildings. Requests for additional spaces are always accommodated.

Arrangements are also made for those requiring accessible parking on a limited basis. For example, if a student or staff person only comes to TRU two days per week, an e-Permit can be purchased based on two days per week X $5 per day X 16 weeks = $160. This eliminates the need to go to the ticket dispenser and is instead of purchasing a semester permit at $250.

 Shouldn’t employees who make more, pay more for parking? Conversely, shouldn’t employees who make less, pay less for parking?

The cost to use a parking stall is the cost to use a parking stall regardless of income level. There are multitude of ways to reduce one’s personal parking expenses if it is perceived that costs are too high. The framework document is full of suggestions and specific strategies that the university has undertaken or initiated to provide as many viable options as possible.

 Will the new parking provisions increase the amount of time it takes faculty/staff/students to move across campus from the time spent driving around looking for parking, to walking from the more distant fringe parking spots?

This may be true if faculty, staff and students decide to park in the economy lot (Lot N) which is furthest from the core of campus. In fact, if faculty, staff and students choose to purchase a permit for a specific lot or a reserved space in a lot of their choosing, parking should be much simpler and more convenient.

 What measures has TRU taken to ensure the practicability of environmentally sustainable transportation choices such as walking, cycling, and public transit? What measures are being undertaken to meet them?

While the campus and its surroundings are topographically challenging, and walking and cycling is not an option for everyone, the university has invested in additional bike racks, bike shelters and a bike repair station for those who choose to cycle. We continue to work with the City as part of their own transportation planning activities to encourage more pedestrian and bike-friendly investments to make the campus more accessible. In addition, TRU has been working with BC Transit and the City not only to determine an alternate site for the bus loop (or a better alternative to the bus loop altogether), but also to encourage a transit route around the ring road of campus as well as more timely service from key locations in the City. These types of changes take time, but this is an active file for TRU and we continue to push for greater transit access and service.

 What was the consultation process that led to these changes?

Rate changes for parking operations are the sole purview of the University’s Vice-President, Administration and Finance (VP-A&F). Although consultation is not required for rate changes, the nature of the changes being contemplated with respect to parking operations overall (including rate changes), led the VP-A&F to ask Parking Services to develop a strategy reflecting TRU’s commitment to sustainability and consistent with the 2013 Campus Master Plan and anticipated impact of future TRU Property Trust developments.

This strategy integrated the ongoing work of the Parking Appeals and Advisory Committee (PAAC) whose terms of reference are available here.PAAC’s Terms of Reference state, “The Committee, by virtue of the experience gained in hearing appeals, is in a position to make positive recommendations to the Administration on both policy and operating level requirements“.

Consultations that brought forward these changes were consistent with the PAAC Terms of Reference Section 4 – Reports and Recommendations.

 What information did PAAC review to help develop recommendations?

PAAC considered the individual opinions of stakeholder representatives as well as the TRUSU Budget Consultation Report on parking from 2015 (and TRUSU’s subsequent submittal of an action plan), as well as a follow-up submission by CUPE. Although TRUFA and Administrative members sit on the committee, no formal submissions were received by PAAC or by the Administration from these employee groups.

The PAAC voted in favour of all of the recommendations that appear in the parking sustainability framework.

 What is the membership of the PAAC?

Membership includes:

Voting representatives:

  • 2 full time Students
  • 2 full time Faculty
  • 2 full time Support staff
  • 2 full time Administrators

Non-voting representatives:

  • 1 full time member of the Facilities Services division
  • 1 full time Secretary from the Facilities Services division
  • 1 full time member of the Parking Control company

 Who is responsible for approving recommendations of the PAAC?

Parking is the sole purview of the University administration.

 When was the last time rates were raised?

The last time rates were raised was in the Spring of 2013. Subsequently, in 2014, as a one-year pilot project requested by the PAAC (that was ultimately adopted and implemented on an on-going basis), a half day rate was introduced for lot N as well as 20% reduction in the daily rate.

 Why are faculty paying for parking at all? Why are we losing so much parking in favour of students?

Parking is not a requirement of employment at TRU, and payment for parking is a personal choice individuals make based on their own circumstances. No parking is being lost to students. TRU has maintained the current 70:30 (student:faculty) split in all of our lots. TRU no longer differentiates between faculty, staff and students with respect to parking. Given the new parking framework, the closer one chooses to park to a building (most likely in the lot of your choosing), the more parking will cost. Parking in a gated or permitted lot may make parking easier and more convenient because there are limited number of stalls available to permit holders only. We anticipate that the competition for parking in those lots will diminish significantly. Half of TRU’s lots will not see a rate increase in 2017/18. Our most expensive option, premium reserved, will increase $8/month ($0.40/day).

 Does the time I spend looking for parking count as work hours?

No. Each employee independently chooses how they get to work, and each is solely responsible for anticipating and planning to arrive on time at work regardless of the choice they make.