Impark collects 460K in parking fines at Interior Health hospitals - InfoNews

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Impark collects 460K in parking fines at Interior Health hospitals

A parking meter in the new Royal Inland Hospital parkade.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
January 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM

More than 19,000 parking tickets were issued at Interior Health facilities in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, says an organization advocating for end of the pay parking at hospitals.

Of the 19,401 tickets issued by Impark on behalf of the health authority, 5,665 were cancelled, 8,068 were paid and 5,667 remain outstanding.

Interior Health does not receive revenue from parking tickets, only parking fees, which means contractor Impark took in roughly $460,000 of a potential $1,105,857 in violation collections last year. The money gained from parking fees themselves is not available.

Regardless of who collects the fees, the organization HospitalPayParking.ca, says the pay parking system as it stands, preys on the weak and the sick for a relative pittance when compared to the multi-billion dollar budgets B.C.'s health authorities are dealing with.

"Pay parking is a user fee that discriminates. Only hospital patients and their supporters pay the fee, and only at certain hospitals," the organization states via its website.

"Due to the fact our cities were designed around the automobile, most people arrive at the hospital with a need for parking. Therefore it is only reasonable to conclude that health care delivery starts at the property line with proper parking facilities."

Craig Paynton, manager of Interior Health parking services, said in an emailed statement, "free public parking at hospitals runs the risk of people taking up stalls who don't have business at the hospital."

Parking fines collected at IH hospitals.
Parking fines collected at IH hospitals.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Paynton also noted that revenue from general parking fees directly offsets operational expenses such as security, utilities, snow removal, general maintenance of the lots, as well as capital improvements.

"All of which allow valuable health care funding to go towards providing quality patient care services," he said.

Impark is contracted to ensure that the parking system is fair for all visitors to their sites.

"We know that people may be coming to hospitals under challenging circumstances and would encourage anyone who feel they have been ticketed inappropriately to call the phone number on the ticket to request a review," Paynton said.

"The number of voided tickets at each facility shows that Impark and Interior Health recognize that there are cases where a parking ticket is not appropriate for a variety of reasons and that we are understanding of  individuals in those situations."

Data provided by HospitalPayParking.ca:

  • Royal Inland Hospital: 7,841 tickets issued for potential revenue of $446,837. Only 3,107 tickets were paid.
  • Kelowna General Hospital: 7,234 of $412,338 revenue. There were 3,039 paid tickets.
  • Reid's Corner: 34 tickets issued for a value of $1,938. Only six paid the fine.
  • Cottonwoods Care Centre (Kelowna): There were 17 tickets issued for a value of $969. Only 13 were paid.
  • Brookhaven Care Centre (West Kelowna): There were 17 tickets, for a value of $969 and only seven were paid.
  • Penticton Regional Hospital: There were  2,347 tickets issued for potential revenue of $133,779, Only 1,125 were paid.
  • Vernon Jubilee Hospital: 1,772 tickets issued for a potential revenue of $101,004. Only 702 were paid.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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