UVic: Reduce the proposed 50% parking cost increase

UVic: Reduce the proposed 50% parking cost increase

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Cliff Haman started this petition

The University of Victoria is proposing changes to its parking policy commencing for September 2022 and have stated: 

UVic is committed to taking action on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and a key goal of the Sustainability Action Plan is to continue to increase the campus community’s use of transit, cycling, walking and carpooling for travel to campus. One way to move the dial is through changing parking management practices and encouraging faculty, staff and students to use sustainable modes of travel. 

It is commendable that the University of Victoria is implementing a Sustainable Action Plan, and some elements such as the reduced bus pass cost are welcome. However, the problem with many of the planned initiatives is that they are harsh, immediate, inflexible, and unfairly target employees who do not have the option to use alternate modes for commuting. 

The unions on campus have identified the following issues regarding the cost of parking: 

Implementation Impacts 

  • Removing the pre-purchased yearly pass will cause the cost to park on campus for one year to increase by more than 50% as of September 1, 2022. 
  • Such an increase would harm most if not all precarious employees since employee wages have failed to keep up with inflation over the last ten years. 

Cost of Inflation

  • Real estate prices and the cost of renting in Victoria forces employees to live further afield, making a lengthy commute to work a daily reality.
  • The increasing costs of gasoline already make the cost of commuting to work burdensome.
  • The recent increases in the cost of living make these changes particularly painful, particularly for employees with limited excess income. 

Lack of accessible commuting options 

  • Some employees rely upon a vehicle for personal or medical reasons and don’t have access to alternate commuting options. A parking increase targets employees who have families and rely upon a vehicle for those needs.
  • There is a great lack of reasonable bus access to and from remote communities and these increases specifically target employees who work non-standard hours when bus services are not available. 

Issues with the green alternatives 

  • Although intended to be ‘green’, parking increases target employees who own and use electric vehicles for work commutes.
  • The eBike loan does not function as a loan. Employees must first pay for the vehicle (which presumes ability to pay) and then is reimbursed based on submitted receipts. 

In response to the above, we the undersigned respectfully ask the University of Victoria to reduce the parking policy increase to be less than the cost-of-living increase per year and keep the annual pass as an affordable option for employees. 

Furthermore, the NTS parking pass should remain at the current rate for those precarious workers who travel before or after transit service operate. 

The University should also support and update the Sustainable Action plan to provide options that support the use of electric cars and includes full-time remote work options to reduce commuting, leading to less emissions. 

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