The cost of parking is a common complaint among students at Algonquin but despite this, parking is already sold out.

The waitlist for this year reached 100 people but Roch Lafond, manager at parking, lockers, coin-ops and card services, says the list should come down to zero any day now. The Ottawa campus has just under 3,000 parking spaces available for use.

“If we go back four years, five years ago, we had a waitlist of over 800 people wanting to park here so we sold out,” said Lafond.

But the demand for parking has gone down recently, partly because of the U-Pass that Algonquin adopted two years ago. The college also tries to encourage alternative methods of transportation with bicycle repair stations on campus and carpooling programs among students.

Lafond also defends the parking costs at the campus.

“I wouldn’t say parking is that expensive, when you look at the annual permit you buy and the number of times you park on campus.”

Parking costs come down to about $2 a day if students buy annual passes and park at the college frequently.

The cheapest annual rate for parking a car is an annual pass in the green lot for $613. If students use their pass every day the cost comes down to about $1.70 a day. Motorcyclists are only charged $92 for an annual pass.

“We bench mark ourselves against all other post-secondary institutions and we are quite similar to the big city ones,” said Brian Langer, the operations supervisor at parking, lockers, coin-ops and card services, in an email to the Times.

And there are other factors at play that influence supply and demand of parking spaces.

“We maintain a wait list every year and the city won’t allow us to expand our parking lots, so our prices reflect this,“ said Langer in an email to the Times.

The Pembroke and Perth campuses have much lower rates for annual parking compared to the Ottawa campus. Perth charges $203 and Pembroke, $290 annually for parking cars. Lafond says this is a reflection of the local economy.

Still, transportation options aren’t available to everyone.

College staff are not entitled to a U-Pass and they charged the same rates for parking as students.

“Actually, staff are more likely to purchase a higher bracket permit in the red or silver area so they get their premium parking,” said Lafond.

The premium parking options offered to staff include gated lots and reserved spots, albeit at rates nearly double of what students may pay.

According to Langer, the college does offer free or discounted parking in certain situations such as open houses and media events.

Parking infractions are ticketed by the college in most scenarios but the city of Ottawa does have the right to issue tickets on campus as well. A typical ticket for infractions issued by the college starts at $45 if paid on time compared to the $55 fines issued by the city.

Lafond says between 25 and 40 tickets are issued in a usual day. The area outside C-Building is one of the more common areas for tickets to be issued.