Finding on-campus parking causes headaches

Car-sharing could be part of the key to reducing the time to find a parking spot


By Michael Su 

This story has been updated to include comments from Langara staff member, Ruchi Chopra, and Craig Sidjak, director of BCIT campus development.

Not finding a parking spot on time has become a common occurrence for some students and staff at Langara, and they are hoping for an alternative solution like car-sharing.

Ruchi Chopra, a Langara IT worker who uses the college’s daycare centre, has to arrive early to secure a parking spot. She said Monday mornings are especially difficult.

“So if I get here by nine, sometimes I don’t find a parking spot,” Chopra said.

Most of the time Chopra will look for parking off-campus, but whenever she has to drop her child off at the Langara daycare, the campus parking lot is her only option.

“The worst experience I had was to drive this around like three times, from here till the back,” Chopra said, “I just went to and from and I wasted like half an hour.”

Car-sharing as a possible solution

Other schools like BCIT have added a car-sharing program with Evo to their campuses in order to mitigate parking and commuting issues. Evo has participated in past campus events and has reached out to Langara, though no formal partnership talks have been held.

Craig Sidjak, director of BCIT campus development, said the Burnaby campus plan included car-sharing as one of the strategies to solve issues with transportation and parking.

“The more choices you give to students residing in suburban communities to use that type of service to get to the Burnaby campus, that would be very positive,” Sidjak said.

However, a downside to car-share services like Evo is that most of their vehicles are concentrated within Vancouver city limits.

Dave Wharf, senior business operations manager for Evo, said the car-sharing company is an economical option for students who commute.

“Car ownership is extremely expensive,” said Wharf. “So it just adds another option for people to get around.”

Evo is a no-go on Langara campus

Schools like UBC, SFU, and Capilano University have agreements with Evo to offer student discounts and reserve parking spots. But Evo has not been able to secure a partnership with Langara.

“What we’ve been able to do is work with those universities and to say, hey, you know, we can help solve some of your mobility and transportation issues,” Wharf said.

According to Mark Dawson, Langara’s manager of public affairs, there has been no negative feedback so far.

“We haven’t had any complaints about Evo, or lack of parking or rideshare opportunities,” Dawson said.

Students like Michuki Sauve have switched to public transportation because of the time it takes to find a parking spot.

“You’d be running late for class,” Sauve said. “You need extra time and also paying for parking here at Langara, unless you’re finding a spot out on the street, it’s going to be like seven dollars a day.”

Sauve has never used a car-share service like Evo before, but lately, it has become an appealing alternative.

“Car-sharing is already such a good thing for the environment and our society today. I think that adding an incentive to use it more would increase [users],” Sauve said.


Watch the video above to hear more from Craig Sidjak on how BCIT tackled their parking and transportation issues. 


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