Edmonton EXPO Centre new automated parking system improving after launch

Staff were on hand at the Edmonton EXPO Centre on Saturday, Nov. 23, to help guests with the new automated parking system. Les Knight / Global News

The Edmonton EXPO Centre launched its automated parking just over a week ago, and after some initial wait times, staff there say the transition has gone fairly smoothly.

The new Nortech automation system launched on Nov. 14, during the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament.

“We had a lot of comments from guests (in the past) about ingressing slow traffic getting backed up on Wayne Gretzky (Drive),” said Caiti Farquharson, the marketing and communications specialist for Edmonton EXPO Centre.

“The ingress has improved a lot, but we had comments now on exiting out of the lot.”

The new system sees guests receive a parking ticket from an automated machine as they enter the grounds. People now have to bring their ticket into the building and pay inside, with credit or debit. One machine in the building will also accept cash.

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All the parking cashiers that were affected by the change were offered different positions within the venue.

This weekend the EXPO Centre plays host to several big events, including Disney On Ice and the Make It! Handmade Revolution market.

There are staff members on hand to help with the transition at the automated ticket machines over the weekend, said Farquharson.

“We do understand we do have large number of guests on site this weekend for a lot of our big shows.”

“A lot of people end up leaving at the same time, we do expect there to be some wait times but our team really wants to ensure the wait times don’t impact the guest experience.”

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Farquharson said the decision to move to automation came after receiving customer feedback.

“As part of this work we regularly seek customer feedback, and our parking process was one of the greatest areas of interest for improvement at the venue,” she said.

Parking tickets will be valid for 24 hours, for the price of $15. Since it is a flat rate, guests are encouraged to pay for their parking when they first enter the building.

“That’ll make your exit that much faster,” said Farquharson.

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