The hunt for parking on campus

Conveniences and struggles of parking in downtown Winnipeg

Illustration by Gabrielle Funk

Parking near the University of Winnipeg (U of W) - and almost anywhere else downtown - can be a challenge. According to the Downtown Winnipeg Biz website, there are 39,000 parking spots in downtown Winnipeg. The average cost for parking in downtown Winnipeg is between $4 and $14 during the day, Monday to Saturday.

The U of W is situated in the middle of all of these parking laws and prices, and according to the university website,  there are 9,500 students on campus as of November 2017, some of whom park on campus.

Kevin Rosen, marketing director at the U of W, says the university is aware of the situation with parking, and they are taking the effort to accommodate students’ parking needs, long-term and short-term.

Students have a few options for their parking needs on or around campus. For example, according to the U of W website, the Axworthy RecPlex has 100 indoor parking spots for daytime parking.

When the spots are all full, the parking office will have information for students who are seeking alternate options around the neighbourhood. For short-term parking, the university has around 200 stalls for students and public use daily, Rosen says.

Rosen says that at the Rice Centre building, there is additional parking that is managed by Impark.

Dorian Malo, a recent U of W graduate, says high parking prices deterred her from driving to campus.

“I bussed everyday because of how expensive it is to park by the campus,” Malo says.

The U of W has followed the example set by other Canadian universities, including the University of Regina and Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, to implement a cheaper alternative to driving to campus.

The U of W brought in the U-Pass system in the 2016-17 academic year, shortly after the University of Manitoba introduced a U-Pass.

Full-time U of W students (who take nine or more credits per semester) pay a fee of $260 for their U-Pass, a universal transit ticket valid from Sept. 1 to April 30 of a given academic year.

According to Rosen, the university offers green and sustainable options for getting to and from campus, as well as encouraging active transportation. For students or faculty cycling to campus, the university offers indoor and cage bike parking on campus at a reduced rate of $10 annually.

Storage for bikes is available at Richardson College, Axworthy RecPlex and the Asper Centre for Theatre & Film.

Published in Volume 72, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 8, 2018)

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