The Hidden Cost of the City’s Plan to Privatize Parking Meters

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Photo: iStockphoto

"Oh, no! It filled the budget gap for one year. Now, we've lost our revenue stream for the next 70 or so years." —Chicago alderman Scott Wauguespack after he was told that officials in New York City were studying the deal Chicago made in 2008 to give up revenues from 36,000 downtown meters in exchange for an up-front payment of $1.15 billion and avoiding annual maintenance costs. As part of the agreement, parking rates in some Chicago neighborhoods quadrupled. Mayor Bloomberg's deputy is considering the $5 billion short-term influx of cash that could come if New York's parking meters were privatized. Last year, the city's meters brought in $138.9 million in revenue.

City mulls $5B meter sell-off [NYP]