Update: see previous posts – April 28, 2012 Hamilton Will Upgrade Their Parking Meters and Pay and Display Parking Machines, April 26, 2012 Toronto Parking Authority to Upgrade Parking Meters, Allowing Meters to Accept Loonies/Toonies – Increase in Rates to Follow
A quick visit to the hospital left Alexander Nairn and wife Anke Wallert feeling sick after parking meters rejected their new loonies and toonies, and they were slapped with a $49 ticket.
“My wife could not get these new coins into the blasted meters,” said an outraged Nairn.
Last week, Nairn, 87, arrived at North York General Hospital’s Branson site, near Bathurst St. and Finch Ave. W., for an X-ray. Wallert, who drove Nairn, made several failed attempts to feed the new coins into parking meters at the site.
As there was no parking attendant present, the couple checked into Branson without paying parking fees, Nairn said.
After spending an hour at the hospital, they returned to their car to find a $49 ticket (which indicated it would be discounted to $25 for prompt payment). It cited “failed to display valid receipt” as the parking infraction.
“I wonder how many thousands of people across Canada are getting the same thing,” said Nairn, who refuses to pay the fine. “It’s a good little ripoff source of revenue for people.”
Nairn said he left a message for Tim Rutledge, president of North York General Hospital, but has yet to receive a response.
“This is the first time I hear this specific type of problem with the new coins,” said hospital spokesperson Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern.
Visitors’ parking is managed by external contractors, Gomez-Wiuckstern said, adding that he will contact them about Nairn and Wallert’s complaint.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s newest version of 2012 loonies and toonies are manufactured with multi-ply plated steel technology. They weigh less than their alloy predecessors. The Star has reported that the city’s parking machines don’t recognize them.
The Toronto Parking Authority plans to upgrade all 2,978 machines by this summer. It is expected to cost $1 million.