TransLink is checking into reports that pay-parking machines at the South Surrey Park & Ride now accept credit cards only.
In response to complaints passed on to Peace Arch News, TransLink media-relations advisor Chris Bryan said that ongoing vandalism and theft at the lot had prompted the parking contractor, Impark, to limit the number of machines accepting cash to one out of four.
Additional armoured plating had been installed on the cash-operated machine – one of a bank of three grouped together at the lot – he said, adding that similar measures have been taken at other park-and-rides in the Lower Mainland.
But in a check of the South Surrey lot Monday, PAN could not discover a cash-operated machine. Representatives of Impark could not be reached for comment at press time Monday.
South Surrey resident Evelyn Morris said that she and her family have been using the park-and-ride as cash customers since it was first established, but were dismayed to find that machines would only accept credit cards when they arrived at the lot on Saturday.
“We were so choked about it we left,” she said, adding that having to find alternative parking meant they arrived late at an important event that evening.
“We didn’t want to take the chance that the car would be towed or we would be fined. It wasn’t worth the risk.”
One machine had tape over the coin slots, and had a notice taped to it saying that it was temporarily out of order, Morris said.
“I couldn’t read exactly what it said.”
Morris said that if the credit-card-only option is TransLink policy, it is a highly discriminatory one.
“There are people in this world who only use cash,” she said. “I’m sure we’re not the only ones inconvenienced by this. Everybody should be aware of what’s going on.”