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

Surrey Memorial Hospital is the authority’s most significant cash cow when it comes to pay parking

Pay parking is a multi-million dollar gig at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Between April 1, 2017 and March 31 of this year, the Fraser Health Authority raked in $4,546,000 in pay parking revenue at Surrey Memorial Hospital. And from April 1, 2018 to Oct. 18, it took in $2,487,000.

Since 2011, pay parking at SMH has generated a whopping $31,370,000 and at all the FHA hospitals combined — wait for it —$105,680,008.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said the city will ask the FHA to remove pay parking at SMH in line with its decision to make parking free on neighbouring city streets. Last Monday night council ratified its campaign promise to remove pay-parking on the streets immediately outside the hospital and implement free two-hour parking.

“We’re going to try to convince them,” the mayor said after the Nov. 19 council meeting. “The parkade is the regional health board’s land and we will talk to them and try to convince them to provide free parking also. But ultimately that’s up to them to decide whether they will or not.”

Jacqueline Blackwell, public affairs consultant for the FHA, told the Now-Leader on Friday the authority has not yet been approached with such a request. “We have not been contacted by the City of Surrey,” she said.

Surrey Memorial Hospital is the authority’s most significant cash cow when it comes to on-site pay parking. But millions of dollars are piling in from other hospital’s in this region, too. By comparison, between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, Abbotsford Regional Hospital took in $2,215,000 in pay-parking revenue, Royal Columbian Hospital took in $1,983,000, Burnaby Hospital, $1,466,000, Surrey’s Pattison Outpatient Centre, $1,290,000, Langley Memorial, $893,000, Ridge Meadows Hospital, $816,000, Chilliwack General Hospital, $372,000 and Peace Arch Hospital, $140,000.

The City of Surrey operated 103 on-street pay parking spots in the immediate vicinity of SMH while Fraser Health or private companies operate 2,041 off-street parking spaces. It costs $4.25 for the first hour of parking at one of SMH’s 1,790 stalls and $3.50 per additional hour. If you’re parking in one of the Surrey Medical Arts Building lot’s 87 stalls, you’ll pay $3 for the first hour and $2.50 for each additional hour. Parking in one of Surrey Health Sciences lot’s 185 stalls will cost you $2.50 per hour, and SMH has 43 Creekside lot stall that cost $3.75 for the first hour ad $3.25 for each additional hour.

“Surrey Memorial Hospital has the highest parking revenue for a number of reasons,” Blackwell said. “As one of our main regional centres, it has the most parking stalls available through three parkades and a number of surface lots. In addition, the parking revenue totals also include revenue from peripheral sites that make up the broader campus, such as the Shirley Dean Pavilion, Charles Barham Pavilion, and Laurel Place.”

OUR VIEW: Fraser Health should park the Surrey Memorial Hospital Parking fees

READ ALSO: Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

READ ALSO: McCallum says no more pay parking at Surrey city hall, near hospital if he’s elected mayor

READ ALSO: Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

READ ALSO: Surrey’s free hospital parking won’t catch on elsewhere

READ ALSO: City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

LETTER: Patients, families should get free parking at Surrey Hospital

Meantime, Blackwell outlined some reasons why pay parking is in place at SMH. Besides, of course, the significant cash it brings in.

“As our hospitals are often centrally located, their parking spaces are very sought after. Paid parking at hospitals discourages customers and employees of surrounding businesses from parking at our sites, so these stalls are available for patients and their families,” she explained. “Parking rates also encourage stall rotation to ensure patients have access to parking at all times.”

She said money generated from parking fees covers “operating costs to provide safe parking, such as lighting, security patrols and repaving” and “any additional funds are reinvested into health care programs and services.”

Prior to the election, McCallum told the Now-Leader his Safe Surrey Coalition’s reasoning behind the move to free parking at the hospital. “When you go there you’re under stress or tension because you’re going to visit loved ones or members of your family that is sick and the last thing you need to do is to reach into your pocket and try to find some money to do a parking metre,” he said.

Blackwell said Fraser Health appreciates “that some people may struggle to pay for parking, especially when they are dealing with long-term illness.

“For this reason, we have a hardship process to waive fees where it poses a genuine challenge to patients and families,” she said. “Most sites have a variety of pay options to accommodate different types of patient visits, including daily, weekly and extended stay rates as well as subsidized rates for those with financial need.

“In addition, parking vouchers or fee waivers are often made available through the relevant medical program for patients who must make frequent trips to hospitals and clinics, such as hemodialysis and chemotherapy patients.”

Blackwell said parking revenue has increased over the past several years for a number of reasons. “During that time, we have opened new pay parking facilities, such as the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, the Surrey Hospital critical care tower, and the Surrey Memorial Hospital north parkade.

“We have also expanded the surface lot parking at many of our existing hospitals, such as Burnaby, Eagle Ridge, Ridge Meadows, Surrey Memorial, Peace Arch, Langley Memorial, Abbotsford Regional and Chilliwack General,” she said, “to keep pace with the escalating parking demand.

— with files by Amy Reid



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

pay parkingSMH Surrey hospital pay parking McCallum FHA

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

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

Mainroad Communications warns of coming weather event.
Mainroad Communications notifies drivers of snowfall event over next 24 hours

It’s that time of year again. A weather event is heading to… Continue reading

Cranbrook's Casey Hanemayer reaches a rating of 1022, jumping up 17 points and becoming the highest ranked player in Canada. Paul Rodgers file.
Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer becomes Canada’s highest-rated disc golfer

Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer has become Canada’s highest ranked disc golfer, after the… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

This year’s Sunrise Rotary Club Scholarship recipients. Top left: Kieran O Grady. Top Right: Nathaniel Ralph. Bottom Left: Robyn Anderson. Bottom Right: Emily Daly. (Submitted files)
Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club announces 2020 scholarship winners

Funds are awarded to post-secondary students who graduated high school in Cranbrook

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read