This makes Chicago’s meters more expensive than every other city, including New York.
How’d this happen, you ask? Chicago city officials allowed their parking meters to be privatized, and since businesses are around to make money, the owners of the parking meters are bilking drivers for every cent they can get.
The Chicago Sun Times recently reported on how, even though the parking companies are doing better than expected, they’re demanding more money:
The private investors who run Chicago’s parking meters are doing better than expected, and now they’re demanding an additional $14 million they say they’re owed under obscure provisions of the wildly unpopular 2008 deal that privatized metered parking and caused rates to soar, records show.
Disputing the claim, City Hall says Chicago Parking Meters LLC is seeking a “windfall to which it is not entitled.”
Former Mayor Richard Daley pushed through this 75-year contract in 2008, and was rewarded handsomely. Now he’s left new lawmakers with the mess he’s made.
Privatization is always revered as a savior, where private companies swoop down and force efficiencies on bloated state governments. Problem is, that’s not true in most cases. Privatization usually results in private companies walking away with large amounts of state funds and offering minimal services.