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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: RCMP bring 7 p.m. parade to front doors of Ridge Meadows Hospital

Cruisers with lights and sirens blaring give boost to those working within

WEATHER: Mainly cloudy with a chance of showers

Temperatures to reach a high of 11 C

Intergenerational Garden in Maple Ridge open for another year

All food will be donated to the Friends In Need Food Bank

Front line workers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows calling out for supplies

Doctors and specialists say they are in desperate need

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Walkers, grocery store customers courteous with physical distancing in B.C.

Some cyclists also acknowledge each other and walkers as well on a wide trail

B.C. worker advocate group calls for more sick days, protected medical leave

COVID-19 highlights need for changes to workers legislation: Retail Action Network

Lower Mainland cop awarded almost $3.2 million for 2 car crashes

Jeffery Neufeldt of Mission was injured on the job in collisions in 2013 and 2016

Most Read