Over the last few years, parking at the University of Canberra has been a hot topic for both students and staff. Following the latest increase to parking fees, effective from the 2nd of January 2018, students can expect to pay more than ever for their parking.

In an email late last year, the then-Acting Vice Chancellor, Vicki Williams noted that revenue raised from the increased fees will go toward, among other things, the expansion of car parks across campus and improving safety on campus.

According to the university’s website, the number of parking spaces has increased by 98 spaces from 3,502 spaces to 3,600. The key reason for this is the shift from the university toward e-Permit parking.

Buildings 17 and 9a car park (ostensibly some of the busiest car parks on campus) have both become permit-only parking. In addition, the university has also converted the Building 7 car parks to permit-only parking, which undoubtedly would benefit on-campus residents.

The then Estate and Facilities Management department of the University conceded in 2016 that parking traffic was inflated due to Belconnen-based traffic (specifically locations like Westfield, where the casual parking rates are much higher) and claimed that the conversion of Building 7 car park would address this issue.

The other big change to parking on campus has been the dramatic increase in price for e-Permits. In 2017, an Annual permit would set a student back by $352. This has increased this year to $402, marking a 14% increase over the holiday break.

Students paying fortnightly for a permit would be slugged an extra $3 per payment, totalling $78 extra if a student paid fortnightly for a full year. This is a significantly higher raise than in previous years, which all saw an increase of $1 per year.

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 5.28.29 pm

Sources: 2014201520162017, 2018

In a move that is likely to encourage more e-Permit purchases, casual rates have also increased. Whilst retaining the 30-minute “Grace Period”, a casual parker will be charged $5 for up to 2 hours of parking. The “All-Day” rate for casual parkers has increased to $11. This rate is now comparable to all day parking in Belconnen managed by the ACT Government.

Despite the changes, this fee still does not guarantee students with a place to park their car. Currently, the only way to find out whether you’re able to find a park is to check the UC Mobile App for a live parking feed showing you which car parks are full and those that have spaces available.

It is important to point out, however, that the University of Canberra’s parking is still some of the cheapest in the country, as the University often stresses. ANU students pay $422 for a “surface permit” for parking, however if they wish to have a permit for the multi-storey parks, they are slugged $1,882.14.

A full list of 2018 fees is available on the parking rates website and changes to permit parking can be seen on the parking map. The university welcomes student and staff feedback on this issue and can be contacted at parking@canberra.edu.au