Towing to begin at South Surrey Park and Ride
June 15, 2012
Illegal parking compromises customer safety and service
After several months of warnings and awareness efforts, TransLink and its operating company, Coast Mountain Bus Co. (CMBC), will start towing vehicles that are illegally parked at the South Surrey Park-and-Ride lot.
“With cars double-parked on the roadway, our buses are having difficulty at times getting through safely,” says Tom Fink, CMBC Director of Transit Service Design. “What’s more, customers who had parked their vehicles legally are returning to find they’re boxed-in. It’s a minority who are creating the problem, and unfortunately, the messages we have communicated so far are not getting through.”
Since October 2011, TransLink and CMBC have been warning the public about illegal parking at the park-and-ride. At the time, TransLink decided not to tow vehicles, opting instead for an awareness campaign to encourage customers to respect those who had parked properly. The campaign included placing leaflets on windshields, asking customers not to park illegally and advising them of transit alternatives. TransLink also painted yellow curbs, put up signs warning customers their vehicles could be towed, and placed notices in the shelters. TransLink’s TravelSmart program set aside 13 stalls reserved for carpools and CMBC re-painted the lines to increase the number of parking stalls from 425 to 481.
These efforts had some success, reducing the number of illegally parked vehicles from a high of about 90 per day to between 30 and 40 during the peak now. However, the problem persists, so at the beginning of June, more warning leaflets were distributed on illegally parked cars, licence plates were recorded, and a CMBC Information Officer was stationed at the site to talk to customers. As a final warning, a tow truck will be parked at the Park and Ride in the morning rush hour during the week of June 18.
As of June 25, the towing will begin.
“This is not a decision we wanted to make,” Fink continues, “but for the sake of our customers’ safety and operational efficiency, we’re left with no choice. We are actively pursuing ways of accommodating more people, but at this time we are not able to expand the lot any further. Our goal with the awareness campaign has always been that we wouldn’t have to tow anybody and we still hope that will be the case come June 25.”
Customers are encouraged to consider alternatives, such as taking the #321 White Rock Centre/Surrey Central and #394 White Rock Centre/King George Stn to the Park and Ride or parking elsewhere on or near King George Boulevard or 152 Street (where legal to do so). While the designated carpool spaces are already taken, carpooling is still another option and shared rides can be arranged online at www.ride-share.com
TransLink thanks the public for their patience and understanding.