BY ROBERT JANES
Parking at Conestoga is expensive, however, a local business is selling parking permits for half the price of those sold at the college.
David Coros, a first-year general arts and science student, spoke to the owner of Mango King last month about possibly purchasing one of his parking lot permits. The restaurant is located near the college across Homer Watson Boulevard.
“It’s 220 bucks for the two semesters and they have a $50 down payment. So as long as you return the permit when you’re done you get the 50 bucks back,” he said.
Coros ended up purchasing a parking permit from the school after being ticketed twice, once by Conestoga Parking Services and again by the City of Kitchener when he parked at the McDonalds on Homer Watson Boulevard. He chose not to purchase the cheaper permit from Mango King because he was worried about the legality.
Janet Mannella, occupational safety manager at Conestoga College’s Parking Services, had concerns about the offsite parking.
“It is not a secure lot,” she said. “There is not a lot of lighting … (students) park at their own risk.”
Mannella said there were three rounds of waiting lists this year and that they all opened up within two weeks.
To accommodate students, warnings were placed on vehicles before an actual ticket was given. Parking Services also reduced the weekly rate from $40 to $20 while students remained on the waiting lists.
Casey Vanleeuwen, a second-year radio broadcast student,was ticketed $120 for parking without a permit.
“I neglected to buy a parking pass and I didn’t get ticketed in the first week, so I was like OK, I might just wait it out,” said Vanleeuwen. “I just didn’t get to it and I got four tickets in two weeks.”
Manella said there are many ways to avoid tickets and that Parking Services encourages students to take the bus, the shuttle or to carpool.
“You can put up to four vehicles on one pass so if you meet people in your classes and you have the same timetable, we encourage people to carpool,” she said.
She added there are repercussions for students who either don’t purchase a parking pass or use a fraudulent one.
“A fraudulent permit is a $200 fine, and their account can be put on hold,” she said. “It can also result in a student code of conduct (sanction). Repeated tickets, when it reaches a certain threshold, will also impact their account and result in a student code of conduct (sanction).”