Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay hospital shortchanged on parking coins

The two-year old parking system at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been backed into a corner after the 'chipcoins' the system uses continue to disappear.

Hospital must order new coins after many go missing

Thunder Bay hospital's parking machines that spit out reusable tokens instead of paper slips are running out of coins. The hospital has ordered more. (Gary Rinne/CBC)

The two-year old parking system at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been backed into a corner after the chipcoins the system uses continue to disappear.

Occassionally the parking gates at some of the lots are open due to mechanical issues, and therefore the coin, which a driver must retrieve in order to enter the lot, isn't needed when it comes times for the vehicle to exit.

"We do lose some coins," said Tracie Smith, the senior director of Communications, Indigenous Affairs and Engagement at the hospital. 

"When we're losing some coins, many of them show up again later on," she said, adding that the hospital is ordering more of the chips.

Information was not readily available on the cost of the coins, or the cost of the parking system, she said.

However many businesses, which use the same type of parking system, charge drivers, who lose the coins, between $5 and $20 to cover the cost of replacement.

Machines in similar parking systems can hold approximately 550 of the chipcoins at one time. The largest parking lot at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has about 300 spaces.

The hospital previously said staff with passes were to blame for much of the coin shortage.

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