Chicago Privatizes Parking
"Final approval of the deal, which will be decided by a city council vote on Thursday, would establish the first private concession for a publicly owned U.S. parking system, according to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Similar deals over the past three years have seen Chicago pocket nearly $5 billion from leasing the Chicago Skyway, downtown parking garages and Midway Airport.
Mr. Daley said at a news conference that the fresh funds, to be paid up front for a 75-year concession, will help the city avoid seeking federal government help to balance its budget. 'We're creatively working to protect our taxpayers for years to come,' he said at a news conference Tuesday."
"Net income from Chicago's roughly 36,000 parking meters totaled $18.9 million in 2007, according to the city. For more than two-thirds of the city's meters, the current per-hour rate is 25 cents. By next year, that rate will soar to $1, the first price increase at those meters in more than 20 years, the city said. The rate will gradually increase for five years, to become on par with the rates of other cities. Afterward, rates are expected to increase with inflation and must be approved by the city council."