A green lot is filled with cars on a busy day. Photo credit: Griffin Waller

With most students returning to campus for the fall semester, parking has become a sore point for students who drive.

Roch Lafond, manager of parking, lockers, coin ops and card services at Algonquin College, said the college sells approximately 3,000 permits at the beginning of each academic year, which includes weekly, monthly, and annual passes.

“The amount of passes sold this year is anticipated to be similar to our pre-pandemic levels,” said Lafond.

The high cost of parking permits seems to be a popular issue among students who park on campus, with annual passes costing between $700 and $1500, depending on the lot.

“The college should absolutely lower the cost of parking,” said Patrick Hollingsworth, a performing arts student who pays $121 monthly to park in the green lot.

“The price is horrible,” said Abby Wallingsford, a student in the professional writing program.

Lafond said the college pays close attention to the parking prices.

“Each and every year we review the price of parking. To assist with this, our team performs an annual market analysis to ensure we are in line with similar parking options throughout the city,” said Lafond.

“The cost of parking at Algonquin College is determined by a number of factors: including market comparison for parking prices across Ottawa and other institutions, staffing costs, equipment costs, maintenance of the lots and property, demand for parking, etc. Revenue generated by parking services is invested back into the college to support day-to-day operations, maintenance, and new college initiatives,” said Lafond.

Ryan Miller, an apprentice at the college, believes there’s another issue when it comes to parking.

“One of the things that blew me away is that they oversell the parking lots, which can force some people to pay extra to park in another lot,” said Miller.

Lafond said he does not want customers to pay for parking twice – period.

“We have an overflow process in place to help avoid this. For instance, if a Lot 8 permit holder arrives and lot 8 is full, they are welcome to park in Lot 9 or 12 at no additional cost,” said Lafond. “The same concept applies for Lot 9 [permit holders], who can park in Lot 12, and Lot 12 holders who can additionally park in Lot 16.”

If a student, staff member or visitor needs more information regarding parking on campus they can contact parking services in-person in E120, by email at parking@algonquincollege.com or by phone at 613-727-4723.