Due to overwhelming demand, the sale of student parking passes was suspended by parking services last week.
Mark Van Den Bossche, manager of Parking and Visitor Services, said in his seven years at Western, this is his first time they are suspending sales. Western University's Parking and Visitor Services suspended the sale of student parking passes Sept. 13.
In total, 2,510 parking passes were sold to students this year, even though just under 1,800 student parking spaces are available on campus. This is up from last year’s sales of 2,430 passes, according to Van Den Bossche.
“[Overselling] is actually in our rules and regulations; we have a common oversell position of about 30 per cent,” Van Den Bossche said. “Unfortunately we went a little bit over that with the green permits, and that’s because it was an unprecedented run. We just didn’t see it coming.”
Van Den Bossche said Western has sold out of student passes once before in the early 2000s. Huron University College and Brescia University College also sold out their parking permits for this year.
“It’s crazy how it fills up. If you want to be there and have your first pick of spots, you have to be there by 9 a.m,” said Rachel Hill, a third-year media, information and technoculture student.
Keith Marnoch, Western’s director of media relations, said there are no concrete plans to build more spaces in the short-term future.
If Western continues to expand and build more buildings, it’s likely discussions about creating more parking spaces will happen, such as creating a parking structure. Western's master plan for the coming years focuses on making campus more pedestrian and cyclist friendly and will potentially even move cars off campus entirely.
In the meantime, a parking services app is in the works. The app would measure capacity and let students know if lots are full, according to Van Den Bossche. He added that permit holders don't buy access to a lot, they buy a pass for a zone. Even during parking's peak capacity last week, there were still about 100 student spaces available.
With that said, both Marnoch and Van Den Bossche predict parking spots will be more readily available after the Thanksgiving break as some students leave their cars at home and the September rush dies down.