The Lingering Consequences of Chicago's Parking Meter Privatization

An article examines "Exhibit A for bad public contracting"—a 75-year lease between Chicago a Morgan Stanley-led private consortium for 36,000 parking meters—as a cautionary tale about the lingering impacts of bad deals.
June 9, 2014, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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In 2008, Chicago signed a $1 billion contract with a private company to manage the city's parking meters. According to an article by Stephanie Farmer and Donald Cohen, "[after] the ink was dry, the city’s inspector general concluded that the city sold the meters $1 billion dollars under their value. Parking rates skyrocketed, and the terms of the lease protecting Morgan Stanley’s investment created new annual costs for the city."

The post then goes on to apply lessons from the bungled portions of that contract is continuing to hinder planning efforts in Chicago, including the removal of parking meters in connection with the city's planned BRT lines, pedestrian safety improvements, and adjustments to rush hour realignments. 

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Published on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 in Next City
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