During the summer
of 2019, it was announced that all parking passes would be sold online.
This decision was most likely made after
students lined up outside the Parking and Transportation Office overnight the
year prior. The website was launched at 10:00 a.m. on August 1st, 2019, but
crashed soon after.
The website was down for hours. Most
people were not able to successfully secure a pass until much later in the day.
Others were not so lucky and have had to find other methods of parking their
cars near campus. Or if they wanted to park on campus, they would have to
compete with passholders for spots, and then pay $15 for a full day of parking.
For the people who did get a parking
pass, there are still major problems. For the students willing to shell-out the
money, they can park in the reserved underground CCT parking lot. For the
students wanting the cheapest option, there is the unreserved parking pass that
permits passholders to park in P4, P8, or P9. The first two are multi-level and
right next to each other, in front of the RAWC. Parking Lot 9 is smaller, one
level, and closer to the library.
With the recent construction that
slightly expanded the one level part of P8, one would think that the students
and staff of UTM with these unreserved parking passes would have no problem
parking. They would, if staff member and student didn’t have to be on campus at
a high-volume time, or if there weren’t any events on campus. If, say, a Get
Experience Fair was happening, promising 1000 students the same well-paid
summer job, I think the parking lots would be a bit fuller. So full, that
multiple cars would have to drive around for half an hour to look for spots, or
even take up parking on the grass in some instances.
Now, there have been rumours of
over-selling of these unreserved parking passes, which wouldn’t be so bad if
everyone who bought a parking pass wasn’t at school five days a week. But some
people are, and unreserved shouldn’t mean “oh well you don’t get a spot if
there aren’t any.” Even if there are warnings on the parking websites, why
should a person who drives be prevented from attending their expensive classes
when their expensive parking pass gets them nothing?
If the cheapest parking pass is over $700
for a full year of parking, and apparently cannot guarantee a spot on any given
day, there needs to be a change. If there is already a problem with parking for
students, staff, and faculty at UTM, it must be even harder for guests.
If any changes are to be made, they
should be made for the division of parking lots. Section out space for staff,
space for students, and space for guests. How can we claim our school is
accessible when only people who can pay $1200 for a yearly parking pass are
guaranteed a parking spot?
A tip to anyone in a parking spot: if
you’re headed back to your car to leave school and see the parking lot is full
and there are lots of people waiting around for spots, how about we get a move
on? It doesn’t take long to get situated and take off. A tip to anyone looking
for a parking spot: keep moving! You’re more likely to find someone leaving
their spot when you drive around then if you stay idling in one row (and idling
isn’t good for the environment).