Queen’s Plate rates may lower

Travis Kingdon
Transportation Reporter

Queen’s Plate may soon get a lower parking rate.

Humber’s Department of Public Safety is considering lowering the cost of parking passes for the Queen’s Plate lot located near North campus, starting in the fall semester.

The idea was raised at a Board of Directors meeting at the University of Guelph-Humber on Feb. 4.  Rob Kilfoyle, Humber’s Director of Public Security, said the lower permit cost would hopefully encourage more students to use Queen’s Plate lot, from which commuters proceed onto North campus with a free shuttle bus.

“We need to find ways to encourage people to go to Queen’s Plate,” he said. “We’re hoping people will buy the permits to go there, because campus parking is quite congested.”

There are 682 parking spots at Queen’s Plate and the lot operates under 50 per cent capacity daily.  A permit for eight months of parking in the lot costs $578.

“Having empty spots doesn’t make money,” said Eric Collings, chairperson of the Board of Directors. “Drop the price of Queens Plate, increase the chances of filling that lot up.”

“Why would I go there, to wait for a bus, to come here?” asked Stephie-Lea Tabujara, a first-year Paralegal Studies student.

“If it was significantly cheaper that would kind of compensate for the fact of how far it is,” she said. “I would never pay the amount I would pay here to park over there.”

Kilfoyle said the reduction has not yet been decided, and rates for students who choose to not buy a parking pass will remain the same.

“We think the daily rates are adequate at this point,” he said.   The daily rates at all Humber lots are four dollars for four hours, and anything longer than four hours costs seven dollars.

Kilfoyle said daily rates are compared to Humber’s competitors in the immediate area and based off the operating expenses of the college.

The Department of Public Safety is going to make a review of Humber’s parking rates to the Board of Governors next year.

A change to the permit system has been considered by Collings.

Under his plan, students would have the option to purchase parking permits for specific days rather than the entire semester.

He said this way Humber could ensure that every spot with a permit designation on it was filled every day.

The shuttle buses take students to campus from Queen’s Plate every 15 minutes, which Kilfoyle said is adequate for the amount of students currently using the service.

If the discount is successful the department would re-evaluate the shuttle bus schedule.

“If we get much more increased utilization of the lot and the demand is there, then we would likely increase frequency,” said Kilfoyle.

He said a bus identification system is also in the works.

“We’re finding more and more folks that aren’t parking at Queen’s Plate, parking at the (Woodbine Centre) mall, coming over and hopping on the buses,” said Kilfoyle.

Collings said a parking committee exists but there is no student representative this year.  The representative should come from Humber Students’ Federation.

“There’s a lot of committees that we can be a part of, that we should be a part of, that fall through the cracks,” said Collings.

For now, students struggling to find parking at North campus are left with Kilfoyle’s advice.

“Proceed to the Queen’s Plate lot,” he said. “It’s never full.”

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