Parking fees fly in face of commitment


I'll admit it: I drove in to UBC today as I am heading off to Seattle this afternoon. Paying only $2 per day in the B-Lot certainly makes it affordable and convenient.

But perhaps it makes it too affordable and too convenient.

Living in Kitsilano, I can easily ride my bike or take a bus, which I do most days, reducing the numbers of cars on the city streets and at UBC. However, at $3 (a little less if I remember to buy my tickets), the round-trip bus fare exceeds the cost of parking by 50 per cent! Thus, the new, lower parking fee flies in the face of UBC's commitment to reduce single-occupancy vehicle traffic to campus by 20 per cent.

Bus service in Vancouver is by no means perfect. However, for persons, like myself, living within one zone of UBC -- all of the western part of the city and downtown -- the service is more than adequate.

The last thing the university should be doing is encouraging us to drive. Therefore, at a minimum, the cost of parking should be greater than that of single-zone round-trip bus fare and more on the order of the cost of a two-zone fare.

This would be a good first step in moving UBC to a more rational transportation policy in support of its commitments laid out in the Official Community Plan and in the broader goals expressed in its Sustainable Development Policy.

Dale S. Rothman
Sustainable Development Research Institute

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