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How much is too much when it comes to paying for parking at Brock?

Photo by Tim Meyer on Unsplash

Parking on campus may be a more difficult process than one may initially believe.

Between popular semester or year-long parking areas for students, such as zones 1, 2, and 3, sections with hourly parking such as lot D or E, or even opting out of paying for parking on campus, students have a lot to decide in terms of where to place their cars when attending campus.

The most notable parking areas for Brock students are the three zone parking lots. This year, permits for such sections are available for purchase online only.  Zone 1, the most popular of the three zones and the only zone to currently be completely full, costs $750 for validity between Sept. 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023. Meanwhile, Zone 2 costs $600 for validity during the same amount of time, while Zone 3 also costs $750. While Zone 1 is the closest to campus of the three, Zone 2 has a bit of a longer walking distance and Zone 3 is close in proximity to Lowenberger and Village residences.

Although these zones are typically full of cars with their respective parking permit, parking at Brock is a controversial subject. While many students may decide to go through with purchasing their passes, several also opt out of paying the parking fees and search for more affordable options.

One student, who would prefer to remain anonymous, avoided purchasing a parking pass this year, despite needing to drive to campus every day to attend class. Instead, the fourth-year Con-Ed student elects to park at the Pen Centre most days in order to take the bus to school from there, while also paying for hourly parking on campus every so often.

“Parking passes are unreasonable for students, especially when there are multiple limitations that go along with each type of pass,” said the anonymous student.

Along with the set locations and prices provided with each parking permit, parking is also not permitted in Zone lots between 2 a.m and 5 a.m. Additionally, other than Zone 1 permit holders being able to access the Zone 2 parking lot, there are limited options for permit holders if parking lots become full. 

While having to worry about such fees, students are also responsible for paying other important components of their schooling.

“Students already have tuition, textbooks and various other fees to pay for, which makes the price of a parking pass seem like too much,” said the student.

While many more students have opted out of paying for such passes in order to save their expenses, other students may have less of a choice. Gabrielle Platnar, a fourth-year Con-Ed student, decided to purchase a parking pass because of having to attend in-person classes five days a week, as well as needing to use the school for additional services, such as attending the gym and having a space to study. Such factors were provided in Gabrielle’s decision to eventually purchase a Zone 2 parking pass.

“The price in comparison to the convenience of being able to drive to school was definitely something I had to think about,” said Platnar.

Although Platnar selected the Zone 2 parking pass due to its marginally cheaper price, she feels that the pass is still too expensive:

“Being able to purchase a parking pass and have a car is a luxury in a way. When I went to look at prices online, I really had to think about if it was something I wanted to invest in or not,” said Platnar.

For the majority of students at Brock, purchasing a parking pass is a big decision and not something to be taken lightly. Although Brock is accommodating in offering several options in terms of price, proximity, and what overall works best for every student, it seems the general consensus amongst students is that such fees should be reduced:

“I understand that Brock is an institution and a business, but I feel as though lowering parking pass prices might make it easier for students. It’s difficult to come up with a solution beyond that,” said Platnar.

To learn more about Brock’s parking services, as well as fees and parking options, visit the Parking Services section under Brock University’s website here.

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