Eastern Health announced Friday it will remove parking meters from the parking lot at the Health Sciences Center and install an automated pay-on-foot parking system that is set to be in operation in the fall of 2012.

Torbay-based Coady Construction has been awarded the contract to install an automated arm and a payment kiosk system at a cost of $670, 655.

In a release issued by Eastern Health, it said the new system will allow users to pay by a variety of methods and said patients and visitors will no longer receive parking tickets for expired meters.


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"The goal is to offer better access to parking along with a payment system that is easier for patients, clients and family members who visit the hospitals and the Cancer Centre," said George Butt, Vice-President of Corporate Services in the release.

Drivers will receive a ticket when they enter the lot and present the ticket at a kiosk when they exit to determine the cost of parking. Patients and visitors will also be able to pay inside the Health Sciences Center.

Eastern Health has recently come under fire for charging patients parking fees since an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal described the practice of charging patients for parking at hospitals as a "barrier to care."

Parking rates for the new system have not been determined.

Construction of the new parking system is slated to start in the spring and the system is expected to be in operation by September 2012.