MUHC losing $9 million a year on parking

When the MUHC borrowed $266 million to build the underground parking structure for the English superhospital it did so thinking it would pay the money back using revenue from patient parking.

The problem with that: the structure is bleeding money and needs a doctor, STAT.

According to numbers obtained by the Journal de Montreal, the hospital network estimated it would need 2,880 vehicles to use the structure every day. In reality though, since it opened in 2015, that was a bit of an over statement. For the 2017-2018 the underground parking is only seeing an average of 1,560 cars each day.

The MUHC's Director of Financial Resources, Dawn Singerman, told the newspaper plain and simple that parking revenues are not high enough.

Singerman said the reduced parking revenue has led to an annual deficit of $9 million.

When the structure opened in 2015 it made headlines for its steep day rate, set at $30. The flood of complaints forced the MUHC to lower the day rate to $24, which many continued to complain was too high.

The parking could see a spike if the CAQ government follows through on a campaign promise, but it may not help in the end.

Premier Francois Legault promised to reduce hospital parking rates to between $7 and $10 for a day. He would also require the first two hours be free of charge.