By Ben Hoffman
Recent infractions have brought the University of Calgary to the attention of Calgary Transit.
U of C students repeatedly parking at the Brentwood Station Park’n’Ride have caused the city’s transit service to consider punishing the offence. Calgary Transit Communications Coordinator Ron Collins said observations in recent weeks have led Calgary Transit to believe students are illegally parking in the lot and then walking to the university.
"The parking lot is for Calgary Transit users," Collins said. "The message we want to get out is that you can’t park in Calgary Transit parking spaces, and not use Calgary Transit."
Accordingly, Calgary Transit has decided to issue warnings and eventually fine students caught taking advantage of the unwatched, free parking space provided for Brentwood LRT users.
"We have sent out a notice to all students via Campus Security e-mail," Collins said. "We will be issuing warnings over the next week and, after that, our people will start tagging cars."
A second series of recent offences involved U of C students attempt- ing to use the LRT without a proper U-Pass. A $150 fine is issued to people who don’t have a proper proof of fare payment.
"Where do we draw the line?" asks Collins. "It’s no different than an adult saying they left their pass at home."
Director of Ancillary Services Pete Fraser points out that although Ancillary Services can inform the students about the situation, obtaining and updating U-Passes is something students have to do themselves.
"In some media outlets, it said [the fined students] forgot," Fraser said. "Whose fault is it that they forgot? We try several avenues to communicate with [students], but, in the end, it’s their responsibility."
Fraser also ruled out lack of time, long line-ups and lack of information as an excuse for students to not get their U-Passes updated.
"The longest line we ever had was three minutes," he said. "Not having enough time is not an excuse. Also, we put up banners, posters, and sandwich boards."
"Our officers are out there, and they are always checking for fare evasion," Collins warned.