Free parking coming to an end at UI Hospitals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Free parking coming to an end at UI Hospitals

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - It's become a routine for Mike O'Toole.

"About a year and a half," O'Toole said.

But the weekly trip to the UI Hospitals for his father's cancer treatment is about to change.

"It's gonna cost more money," O'Toole said.

Feeling the pinch from a bad economy, the hospital is putting an end to a nearly seven-year long free parking program.

"I don't quite agree with that," said Allan Carbaugh, whose wife was at the hospital for a checkup.

"I think the medical profession is probably making plenty of money that they can afford to treat their patients to parking when they're not here very long," said O'Toole.

For now as you come into the parking ramp you get a ticket. Outpatients can then take their ticket to their clinic and get a sticker to comp their parking. But that all ends on March 16th when everyone will have to pay.

"I think it's gonna increase the amount of vehicles that we're gonna park," said hospital valet Brett Goodmundson.

Goodmundson is in his fourth year as a valet at the hospital. He expects his job will get a lot busier, as valet parking will soon cost less, in some cases, than garage parking.

"We're in a hiring freeze as well so we got to cut back on our budget as well so we're limited to the amount of people that we have working here," said Goodmundson.

The hospital estimates that the free parking program costs them more than a million dollars a year. But patients like Allan Carbaugh wish the burden wouldn't fall on them.

"It's just one more increase, one more burden upon everyone's expenses," said Coolbaugh.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

Powered by Frankly