Agenda Index City of Vancouver


Date: October 15, 1997

Dept. File No. 2102-7

CC File No. 5653

TO: Vancouver City Council

FROM:General Manager of Engineering Services, in consultation with the General Manager of Corporate Services

SUBJECT:Pacific Centre Parking Garage - Replacement and Upgrade of the Revenue Control Equipment


A.THAT Council approve the replacement and upgrade of the revenue control equipment at the Pacific Centre Parking Garage.

B.THAT Council accepts the Parking Corporation of Vancouver (VPC) estimate of $900,000 for the new equipment, with funding to be provided from the Parking Sites Reserve.

C.THAT the VPC be responsible for tendering, awarding, and administering the contract for the new equipment at Pacific Centre, as well as supervising the installation of the such equipment, and further that the City will issue payments of VPC invoices up to the budget amount; Staff shall report back on the performance and actual payback of the revenue control equipment after the first year of operation.


The City reinvests off-street parking revenue, held in the Parking Sites Reserve, to develop, maintain, and upgrade parking resources where needed, particularly in the Central Area.


The purpose of this report is to request Council approval to proceed with an expenditure of $900,000 from the Parking Sites Reserve for the replacement and upgrade of the revenue control equipment at the Pacific Centre Parking Garage.


The Pacific Centre Parking Garage is a City-owned underground parkade operated by the VPC containing 1,579 parking spaces covering two city blocks. The parkade services three office towers, the Four Seasons Hotel, Eatons department store, and the Pacific Centre Mall with over 100 retailers. In 1996, the parkade handled over 1.16 million vehicles, and generated gross annual revenues of $4,620,000, and net annual revenues of $2,700,000. Access to the parkade is provided by three vehicle entrances and three vehicle exits located on Robson Street, Howe Street, and Dunsmuir Street, as well as numerous internal and peripheral stairwells and elevators.

The existing revenue control equipment was installed in 1987 and was based on the best technology available at the time. This system involves the cashier pay-on-exit system to collect fees through six exit lanes for transient parkers, and card reader access for contract parkers.


The existing revenue control equipment at the Pacific Centre Parking Garage has exceeded its useful lifespan, and requires replacement. Although the equipment has been maintained on a regular basis, including a number of extensive overhauls, the reliability of the equipment is no longer adequate. The frequency of the service calls results in customer inconvenience and high maintenance costs. In many cases, the availability of replacement parts is becoming problematic, as many components are no longer manufactured.

In reviewing potential replacement systems, there are basically three options available:

1.Pay-On-Exit: This is basically replacing the existing system where the customer takes a control ticket from a dispenser upon entry, presents the ticket to the attendant on exit, and is charged for the elapsed time.

2.Pay-On-Foot: This system would involve the introduction of strategically placed pay stations, where the customer takes a control ticket from a dispenser upon entry, processes the ticket through various pay stations located throughout the parkade prior to returning to the vehicle, receives a validated ticket with a predetermined grace period, and exits through an automated verifier upon exit.

3.Hybrid System: This system would be a combination of the Pay-On-Exit and the Pay-On-Foot systems in which the dual lane exit in the parkade allows the benefit of providing both options. The customer would take a control ticket upon entry, and has the option of exiting through an attended lane or pre-paying at a pay station before returning to the vehicle and using the automated "express" lane. This is similar to the system recently installed at the new Vancouver International Airport parkade.

The VPC has conducted an analysis, pricing, and cost benefit review of the replacement systems, and has recommended that the City replace and upgrade the revenue control equipment with a hybrid system based primarily on the following benefits:

-Increase customer service by providing an automated "express" lane for contract patrons, and regular transient patrons who can pre-pay at the pay stations prior to returning to their vehicles.

-Infrequent transient patrons who are not familiar with this system can still pay at the attended lane on exit.

-The reduction in staffing would produce a relatively short pay-back period for this technology.

Staff support the need to replace the present control equipment, and accept the VPC's recommendation for the replacement with a hybrid system, based on VPC’s analysis that the system will improve exiting capacity and provide for a 4.5 year payback period. The upgrade to the hybrid system would require the supply and installation of the following equipment:




Cashier Terminals


Ticket Dispensers


Barrier Gates


Ticket Verifiers


Pay-On-Foot Stations


Facility Mgmt Software


Automated Access System

CCTV / Intercom System


The VPC has received list-price quotations by component for the required hybrid system equipment from a few major suppliers to determine a budget figure for the upgrades. It is expected that the successful proponent in a competitive bidding process for the complete system should be under $900,000. Funding for this upgrade will be provided by the Parking Sites Reserve.

The VPC has reported that with the implementation of this system, the cost savings from staff reductions and the cost saving from present equipment maintenance will amount to approximately $19,400 a month, and $2,328,000 over the 10 year life expectancy. Based on this cost saving, the VPC project that the simple straight line pay-back would be in the range of 51 months. The VPC project a potential savings of $1,600,000 after the pay back based on 1997 wages. The VPC will be responsible for tendering, awarding, and administering the contract, and the City will issue payments for VPC invoices up to a maximum of $900,000.


Staff support VPC's recommendation to replace the existing revenue control system in the Pacific Centre Parking Garage which has exceeded its useful life, and upgrade to a hybrid Pay-On-Foot/ Pay-On-Exit system. Staff seek Council approval to proceed with an expenditure of $900,000 from the Parking Sites Reserve for this replacement and upgrade of equipment.

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