Chicago's Private Parking Meter Bungle

Chicago's decision to privatize its parking meters seems to be a loss for the city, as new data shows the city could have made much more money in the long term had they maintained operational management.
November 22, 2009, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"The parking meter company projects total revenues of more than $75 million and net income of about $58 million in 2010, after a second round of rate increases go into effect across the city on Jan. 1. In the first 10 ½ months of operation ending Dec. 31 of this year, the company expects $32.7 million in net operating profit, for a 70 percent profit margin.

Financial experts who reviewed the data say Chicago could have made out much better in the long run had it just kept the meters."

The city was paid $1.15 billion in February for a 75-year contract over most of the city's meters. The private company, Chicago Parking Meters LLC, is expected to continue to earn high amounts of net income over the course of the contract.

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Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 in The New York Times
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