Parking prices rising

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Parking rates at Calgary’s medical centres and hospitals will be rising as of April 1, 2013 as part of a three-year implementation period to meet increasing market demands for parking.

The rate per 30 minutes will increase from $1.75 to $2, weekly parking passes will raise to $41 up from $40 and monthly passes will increase from $105 to $125 for the first year, according to documents released by Alberta Health Services. 

The fees will continue to increase at similar rates every April until 2015 to cover costs of increased facilities management and construction of parking lots.

For now, daily maximum rates will remain at $13, which is good news for University of Calgary medical and nursing students who often use the facilities at the 
Foothills Hospital.

However, these increases were not communicated to nursing or medical students.

Third-year U of C nursing student and Students’ Union faculty of nursing representative Riley Simister said he was disappointed that the adjustments to parking rates were not communicated to U of C students.

“There was no way of letting us know that there were going to be increases. There was no way of indicating to students that the prices were going up — no email, no notification,” said Simister. 

As it currently stands, medical and nursing students have to pay the same rates as all medical centre users. 

Nursing students have to be at the Foothills Campus twice a week. According to Simister, the parking fees add up quickly.

“We are struggling for parking here at the U of C, and that’s $5. It’s sucky, but it’s an easier pill to swallow than $13 a day,” said Simister. “The deals and discounts that the hospital offer do very little to assist people who spend a lot of time there.”

Though there are no plans to increase the maximum price per day at this time, Simister said that the prices are still extremely high and pose a barrier to everyone who uses or visits the 

“Parking at the hospital is already at such an astronomical level. We’re paying $13 a day for premium parking,” said Simister. “For students and staff and even patients and people going to visit their families and friends at the hospital, $13 is a huge crunch.”