TransLink is facing criticism that commuters are not using a new $4.5 million parking lot at the South Surrey park-and-ride because of a new $2 fee.

On Wednesday morning there was not one car parked in the new 350 car lot near King George Boulevard at Highway 99.

Transit users nearby told CBC News they just don't want to pay the $2 fee, which also applies to the old parking lot that used to be free.

Surrey Councillor Tom Gill confirms the city has been getting more complaints from neighbours who say people are parking on residential streets, and use of the preexisting lot actually declined since the expansion was opened.

"You could not get in here if you weren't here before 7:15 or 7:30 [a.m.]. But once the $2 charge came, everybody started parking on the street," said commuter Angela Wingenbach.

Others pointed to the fact that there is only one pay station for the entire lot, creating line-ups and delays for busy commuters rushing to catch a bus.

Lots of expenses

Officials with TransLink told CBC News that "usage patterns take time to settle down" after the introduction of new pay parking.

Last year TransLink said it was considering changes to park-and-ride locations because of the expense.

TransLink manages 19 lots with thousands of parking stalls, and each parking stall can cost up to $18,000 in original capital costs to create and a further $800 a year to maintain.

The new $4.5 million lots was paid for by the provincial government and maintained by TransLink.

The South Surrey park-and-ride is next to the bus loop for several routes, including those to Surrey Central Station, King George Station, Bridgeport Station and White Rock.

Google Maps: South Surrey park-and-ride


View Larger Map
With files from Steve Lus