End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at B.C. 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

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

Saanich safety upgrades, bike lane extension on Finnerty Road near completion

Raised instersection and sidewalks part of safety improvements near UVic

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read