Hospitals throughout Alberta will stop offering free parking by the end of the month.
Alberta Health Services had suspended parking fees at facilities throughout the province at the start of April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but announced on Thursday that fees would resume for employees as of Aug. 31 and the general public as of Sept. 1.
“Parking fees help AHS control the flow of traffic and ensure appropriate parking spaces are available for staff and visitors, keeping our facilities accessible as traffic again increases,” a news release explained.
AHS said parking rates for public lots would not change as part of the reinstatement.
When announcing the changes in April, AHS said pausing parking fees would help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading from the use of touch screens and buttons on machines in parking areas.
On Thursday, officials said cleaning measures for parking payment machines had already been enhanced and signs would be put up to encourage social distancing.
Coins and cash will still be accepted at parking meters and parking offices, but AHS is also encouraging patrons to use the AHS parking app, which is available for free on iPhones and androids.
The province said previously suspending parking fees would equal a loss of about $7.6 million a month in revenue.