By Ralph Bond
The recent Ontario provincial election saw the high price of hospital parking for patients and visitors pop up as an issue.
As the population ages and more of us utilize hospital services and the cost of providing parking in rapidly urbanizing areas continues to increase, this hot topic is likely to keep sizzling over the next decade. The issue is more complicated than it first appears.
Historically, the province has funded approximately 75% of hospital capital and operating costs and relied on the local hospital to fund the remainder by generating surplus revenues from services like parking, retail stores, coffee shops and cafeterias. This has lead over time to the standard practice of parking facilities at hospitals being self- financing.
Perhaps the best way to start a conversation about hospital parking is to understand what it costs to provide it. This includes development costs, operating, maintenance and capital repair costs as well as replacement cost over the long term life cycle of the facilities. The cost of construction will vary significantly depending on whether the parking is in surface lot, above ground parking garage or an underground garage or some combination thereof.1 In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), a surface parking space would likely cost approximately $15,000 per space to build including land costs. An above ground parking garage would likely cost approximately $35,000 per space while underground parking would be about $50,000 per space. The general trend is towards less surface parking and more garage parking as land becomes scarce and hospitals continue to expand into the surface lots. This means the cost of providing parking is likely to increase significantly into the future.
One also has to consider the cost to operate the parking which would include items like hydro for the lighting, parking access and revenue…
By Chris Mckenty
Canadian airports, unlike most of their American counterparts, are operated by non-share, not-for-profit airport authorities and are mandated to operate as self-sustaining businesses. This gives them greater freedom to adopt new technology pricing and marketing strategies that help them reach their goals. This is especially the case in commercial areas like parking.
In the past few years, this technology has included the ability to give their customers the option to book and pre-pay for their car parking online via the Canadian’s Airports website or mobile app. You might be surprised to learn that last month alone (June 2014) nearly 10,000 fully prepaid parking bookings were made at just 3 of Canada’s airports generating an additional $750,000 of revenue for the airports. Edmonton Airport is predicted to grow its pre paid parking by 40% annually over 2015.
With this greater freedom the incentives and drivers for change can vary depending on the dynamics at each Airport,however common factors are apparent. These include:
- Increasing competition from off airport car parks
- Under budget achievement for car parking revenue
Spare parking capacity or very limited capacityin the car parks
- A desire to improve customer service
Another significant factor in the decision to adopt this new technology is the lack of specific information on who the passengers and Airport customers are. Airlines have long since had access to this data but for many reasons have been either unable or unwilling to share this detailed traveller data. By offering an online reservation solution for their car parks, the Airports…
By Sarah Levy Sarfin
Typically when governments wish to raise revenue, they tax the population. One common tax is the federal and provincial fuel tax. The proceeds of this tax have funded municipal infrastructure needs across Canada. However, continuing to rely on a fuel tax to pay for infrastructure is not an eternal solution. According to a study commissioned by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) written by Professor Harry Kitchen of Trent University, a number of factors will lead to a decline in fuel revenues. Kitchen offered alternatives to a fuel tax: road pricing and parking taxes or levies.
While the RCCAO study focuses on the greater Toronto and Hamilton areas (GTHA), it has implications for the rest of the country. Kitchen pointed out that the push for energy-efficient vehicles, the proliferation of electric and hybrid vehicles, the decrease in the number of young adults (especially in urban areas) and Baby Boomer drivers will all negatively impact revenues from a fuel tax.
“Road pricing” refers to creating toll highways. Kitchen believes some form of road pricing in the GTHA might be an effective option to raise revenues that will fund infrastructure development and maintenance. He pointed to research that shows that road pricing can generate significant amounts of money. However, his recommendations about parking taxes and levies offer food for thought to the Canadian parking industry.
The Economics of Parking
Kitchen examines parking through the lens of economics. In his study, he asserted that parking is inefficiently priced. In economics, efficiency refers to the optimal allocation of resources. The economics professor explained that on-street parking in high-demand areas is priced far below its scarcity value. “Scarcity value” means that when something is in limited supply and high demand, there will be a mismatch of the desired supply and demand equilibrium….