End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

A non-profit organization is calling out the provincial health authority, urging it to cut “exploitative” hospital parking fees.

Hospitalpayparking.ca founder Jon Buss wrote in a blog post last week about a new $14.5-million contract between the Provincial Health Services Authority and parking lot operator Impark for hospitals in the Lower Mainland.

“BC Health Authorities have become addicted to the revenue hospital pay parking generates,” Buss wrote. “This is a problem many British Columbians are learning about the hard way at a time when they are at their lowest, weakest and often sickest.”

The organization obtained documents through a freedom of information request, detailing a five-year agreement, which began Jan. 1, that allows Impark to collect the $14.5 million fee to manage parking lots of 40 hospitals, as well as collect violation ticket revenue.

Health authorities will not receive any of the standard $80 parking ticket revenue, but will collect monies from the standard parking rate, to the tune of about $3.50 per hour for each vehicle.

READ MORE: To pay or not to pay is a question of good health

READ MORE: Fraser Health Authority has raked in $105,680,008 in pay parking at hospitals since 2011

The Provincial Health Services Authority has not returned a request for comment.

Buss said his organization has been in discussion with Fraser Health as well as the province to urge changes to the parking system, which can cause stress and anxiety for patients and their families. According to the group, parking costs for patients have risen nine per cent annually across B.C. since 2015.

Some cities have moved altogether to free parking. In Surrey, parking around hospitals is free for the first two hours. In 2017, when North Island Hospital opened its doors in Campbell River, the Vancouver Island Health Authority did not implement pay parking due to public outcry. In Maple Ridge, hospital parking is paid because of free street parking.

Delta and Mission have bylaws that forbid hospital pay parking.

The contract also includes replacing the controlled entrance and exit system, in which drivers pay their bill upon exiting based on how long they have parked, with ticket machines, with drivers estimating how long they will park. Buss said this increases the chance of violating parking rules and wracking up fines.

In 2018, B.C. health authorities generated $34.3 million of their total $12.4-billion operating budget through pay parking.

Pay parking in Fraser Health hospitals totalled $14.9 million of their $3.5-billion budget.

Hospitalpayparking.ca has called for hospital parking lots to be managed by local governments instead of private corporations.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

5 to 10 centimetres of snow expected in the Lower Mainland: Environment Canada

The snowfall will start Tuesday and carry on into the evening, before tapering off Wednesday

Snowfall warning issued for Surrey, Langley

Environment Canada warns to ‘be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions’

Lost a ring? This White Rock man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

PHOTOS: Family Day celebrated at Historic Stewart Farm

Youngsters participate in some old fashioned fun

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

5 to start your day

IHIT investing South Surrey homicide, B.C.’s budget set to focus on climate change, poverty and more

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

The rescuers were able to rescue the missing man’s friend

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Most Read

l -->