Parking rates have risen again at Vancouver Island University.
Parking passes were hiked 20 per cent for the 2013-14 school year.
It means instructors and other staff members pay $600 a year, up from $500, while student parking rates are half that amount. While unhappy with the increase, users are frustrated that a parking pass comes without a guarantee parking spots will even be available.
Students say it's a hidden cost of education and while some could take the bus, transit is not an option for everyone.
"I have friends who come in from Qualicum Beach and they have night classes and there are no late buses home," said Dayton Ferris, a third-year music student.
"I'm kind of annoyed, (parking) keeps going up and up."
He's not alone in his opinion. "It is expensive, but if you have to pay it there's not much you can do about it," said Alexzandro Widdifield. "It's $150 a semester. That's what you pay for textbooks."
"It sucks," said Amanda Newman, a first-year nursing student. She learned from her brother, a VIU alumni member, it's "way more expensive" than what he paid a few years ago.
"Books are expensive, tuition is expensive and parking is expensive," Newman said.
Kari Dillon, a second-year philosophy student, said parking is an "absolute pain." She lives near the campus, so she walks whenever possible, and uses meter parking on the few occasions when she has to drive to school.
Jim Ayers, a part-time instructor, said it's "gone up to the point where it's not worth it for me to pay for a parking permit."
VIU just changed parking contractors to France-based Vinci, from Robbins, but it's unrelated. It's the second of three annual increases caused by a 2012 review of such maintenance costs as repairs and snow removal.
"We looked at that and the rates we were charging back in 2011 were not covering all operating and maintenance costs ," said Rick Kelm, VIU infrastructure and ancillary services executive director.
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