EVERETT — What was once free will now cost patients and visitors a few bucks.
Paid parking is set to start Monday at both of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett’s campuses.
“This will improve safety in our parking areas and reduce unwanted activity in our garages,” said Darren Redick, executive director of operations at Providence.
Seeing the spaces be used by people living in their car, as a park-and-ride and by college students were some of the factors that prompted the change. Back in April, Redick said the garages had become a magnet for car break-ins.
Paying for parking reduces non-hospital-related parking, he said, while allowing the hospital to more efficiently manage access to parking lots and garages.
Rates start at $1 for 90 minutes and rise to $4 for six or more hours. The first 30 minutes are free. Valet parking is available for $5.
A low-income rate is available for qualified households. Payment will be collected 24/7.
The hospital is using at least part of this week as a soft transition, including having drivers pull tickets.
“At this point, fee collection will begin no later than Monday Oct. 28th,” Redick said in an email.
All employees are expected to start paying a parking fee early next year. The rate has not yet been set, but will include a discounted monthly pass.
There is garage and surface parking at both campuses. The Colby location has 1,824 parking stalls and the Pacific sites has 911 spaces, according to the hospital.
The revenue will only be used to cover the costs of operating the parking area and providing security upgrades, Redick said.
The Northwest Neighborhood, which encircles the Colby campus, has long dealt with parking spillover not just from Providence but also from Everett Community College.
Some residents have worried that having to pay for parking at the hospital will make it even harder for them to find spaces on the street as patients and visitors try to avoid paying the fee.