Impark To Receive $14.5M From Taxpayers To Run Hospital Pay Parking At Fraser, Coastal Health Authority Hospitals For The Next 5 Years

Press Release For January 17, 2019

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The newly implemented contract ensures hospital patients will remain targets for financial exploitation by a system designed to maximize profit through violations.

 [DELTA] The profit-oriented hospital pay parking business operating at most BC hospitals shows no sign of a slow-down in both overall revenue and fee increases. Documents obtained by HospitalPayParking.ca through FOI show the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) has just signed a new five year agreement with parking lot operator Impark that commenced on January 1, 2019. The seventy nine page contract details the stable of hospitals run by Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities that Impark will manage while collecting $14.5M in fees plus 100 per cent of all violation revenue. Hospitals in Delta and Mission are excluded from the list as these municipalities have bylaws that forbid hospital pay parking.

HospitalPayParking.ca, a non-profit and volunteer run organization focused on ending the exploitative practice of hospital pay parking in BC, has examined the new business relationship and is warning the added stress and anxiety for hospital patients will only get worse unless major reform is implemented. The group recently met with the leadership of Fraser Health to discuss a variety of alternative solutions that would eliminate the mandatory and universally hated hospital pay parking trap. HospitalPayParking.ca is also working with both provincial and municipal governments to bring about change.

Among the most troubling aspects of the new agreement is the ramping up of aggressiveness in the design of the pay parking system itself. Hospital parking lots with controlled entrances used to offer patients and their supporters an opportunity to pay for parking upon exiting the lot. This design didn’t involve meters that needed to be constantly fed to avoid a violation notice. The new contract however, explicitly directs Impark to phase out this design, currently used at only five LM hospitals, and install automated kiosks in combination with mobile LPR (Licence Plate Recognition) armed patrol staff to monitor and issue tickets on expired meters. Many Vancouver area residents will be familiar with the guess-your-time and prepay method as it has been the dominant pay parking system for the past few years. Some of the text alludes to the potential roll-out of pay parking to even more Health Authority managed properties.

The impetus to automate hospital parking lots is, as evidenced by the contract text, to encourage the issuing of parking violations. The parking lot operator is heavily incented to employ patrol staff that can issue as many violation notices as possible. Incredibly, the PHSA document demands Impark collect on all violation notices it issues and then defines that revenue as theirs to keep. Not one dime of the standard $80 parking ticket given out at local hospitals is retained by the Health Authorities. The hospital parking lot gig is likely a lucrative one for Impark. Meanwhile the Health Authorities seem content with the approximate $3.50 per hour per parked vehicle from standard parking rates.

Among the particulars not carried forward from the previous parking facility management contract (2007-2018) was the value-add stipulation that new “customer groups” should be actively sought to fill unused parking stalls within the Health Authorities’ managed lots. The clause specifically called out film productions as potential clients who might rent some of the surplus real estate. Such a condition serves to demonstrate the Health Authority putting its own financial gain ahead of prioritizing sufficient parking capacity for hospital patients and their supporters. Readers of the newly crafted legal agreement are treated to a bit of comic relief, with the Health Authority declaring the operator must “restrict the carrying out of any business on the Purchaser’s (Health Authority’s) property that would constitute a nuisance…”. Oh, the irony.

BC Health Authorities have become addicted to the revenue hospital pay parking generates. 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 two Health Authorities party to this agreement collected nearly $20M in net parking revenue last year and it’s an income source they regard as safe and secure. Meanwhile parking costs for patients have risen province-wide by an average of 9% annually since 2015. The potential revenue from violation notices is currently unknown, but likely amounts to a significant pile of cash.

A copy of the Impark/Health Authority contract is available upon request

Impark To Receive $14.5M From Taxpayers To Run Hospital Pay Parking At Fraser, Coastal Health Authority Hospitals For The Next 5 Years
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8 thoughts on “Impark To Receive $14.5M From Taxpayers To Run Hospital Pay Parking At Fraser, Coastal Health Authority Hospitals For The Next 5 Years

  • January 23, 2019 at 10:49 am
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    Jon;
    1 – are you willing to pay more taxes to offset lost revenue?
    2 – very naive to think that people will pay by donation, or that non-hospital parking will not occur

    Reply
    • January 23, 2019 at 3:48 pm
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      Hi Ken, great questions, let’s get some answers:
      1.) Paying more taxes to offset lost revenue of $34,300,000 in parking fees throughout BC.
      – 26,100,000 Canadians filed taxes last year. This group is responsible for all health care costs in BC (that’s why we call it socialized health care)
      – Taking the lost revenue and then spreading it among all taxpayers yields $1.31 per taxpayer.
      So yes, I am willing to pay an extra $1.31 in taxes. Next question:
      2.) Naive in thinking people will donate or even park at hospitals without having any business there.
      – Not naive at all, but I think you forgot to read this post: http://www.hospitalpayparking.ca/2018/12/09/hospital-parking-facilities-need-to-be-exclusive-to-patients-and-their-supporters/

      Reply
      • January 24, 2019 at 1:06 pm
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        Interesting, but your model assumes that the Federal government will cooperate with increased transfer payments to the province, (and presumably all provinces), to cover the cost of lost parking revenue, and that then the Provincial government will allocate those funds to individual health authorities. I’m afraid it’s not that simple, (already much haggling over the amount of transfer payments for medical issues that are a lot more important than parking). Offsetting the revenue is far more likely to come by cutting services within the Health Authority – I am a retired health care worker and know all too well that this is the way that things work when there are no increased revenues, much less if there was a decrease in revenue. So if you want free parking, but a decrease in important services that actually support your health, this is the way to go!

        Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 7:38 pm
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    Parking at all hospitals should be free. Any unsafe or illegal parking could be dealt with by Hospital Security. Hospital Security could ticket/tow vehicles that are illegally parked and use discretion when dealing with such vehicles. Did you know Impark gives its parking patrollers commissions on any tickets issued? This is unacceptable for a public facility. Private lots fine, but hospitals are PUBLIC just like Translink, ICBC, etc.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 9:06 pm
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    I don’t understand why hospitals are contracting out the parking lot monitoring to anyone to begin with but especially to Impark who has a BBB customer’s average rating of 1 out of 5! They should not even be able to get a business license!

    Parking at Hospitals should be free for patients, visitors, and volunteers. We could enter a room number in a machine to get a stub to put on the dash and those could be spot checked and volunteers could be given/loaned a pass card. Anyone found parking for free at a hospital without business there should probably spend some time in a stockade at the front entrance.

    Reply
    • January 24, 2019 at 6:36 am
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      Sensible. Additionally, those with out patient procedures should be given a code to enter at time appointment is made.

      Reply
    • January 24, 2019 at 1:13 pm
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      There are a number of comments on here that say Security could manage the parking, or we could get a pass / ticket from a machine, etc. . So what is being asked is to cut revenue to the health authority AND spend more money to employ people to manage the parking. Someone has to take care of all the administrative work, so this is a DOUBLE hit for the health authority, (lost revenue and increased employee funding). Either that or employees who already have excessive workload are asked to take on more and become less effective in performing their other duties; (this is the more likely scenario).
      It’s easy to say, “the hospital could just do this”, but there does not seem to be a realization that there are consequences to making this kind of change

      Reply
  • January 24, 2019 at 6:34 am
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    There is a simple solution.

    Make “Paid Parking” an inadmissable use in whatever zoning you use for hospitals (typically P1)

    Reply

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