Skip to content

Chicago Parking Meter Concession Agreement

The City of Chicago retains control of paid parking fees. CPM doesn`t set parking fees for fixed pay channels – and it never has. The City retains the exclusive authority to determine and set rates, set hours of operation and place, add or remove measured space. The initial five-year tariff, which ended in 2013, was approved by city council to accommodate rates comparable to other major U.S. cities. Prior to the deal, parking fees in Chicago were much lower than the national average. Seventy percent of the meters had not seen an increase in 20 years. The City must require autonomy to remove parking lots for the construction of lanes reserved for buses, bike paths and public spaces, at no cost to real rates. In return, the revised agreement included free Sunday parking outside the Central Business District or area north of Roosevelt Road, south of North Avenue and east of Halsted Street. It also took CPM to allow motorists to pay via a mobile app, although a « comfort tax » of 35 cents is applied to any purchase of less than two hours and accounts of a minimum of $20 must be created. More importantly, the city could make money with pay by cell, as it retains all the revenue of more than $2 million a year from the service. CPM would pay all the necessary revenue from mobile apps to the city twice a year. The concession contract is available on the City of Chicago`s website.

As part of the concession, CPM operates two types of paid parking spaces: the reserve and the concession. The city retains 85 percent of reserve meter revenues (CPM takes a 15 percent operating cost) and CPM receives all revenue from concession meters. Almost all (about 97 percent) of the street parking spaces in the city are concessions and for the user can not be distinguished from the reserve. Under the agreement, the City may add reserve or concession meters to each unassumed road and set the price chosen by the City. If demand decreases, the space for parking spaces could be dedicated to more urgent needs. The reallocation of street parking lots – the type subject to Chicago`s meter agreement – could revolutionize urban streets and urban life. Special bus lanes, separated from the confusion of business traffic, could quickly get drivers through the city. Mayors could put in place excellent cycling infrastructure; paint not only on the sidewalk, but also wide accessible lanes that are safe for drivers between the ages of 8 and 80. Sidewalks could be widened, trees planted and roads transformed into beautiful and useful public spaces.

The concession allows the City to introduce performance prices according to the neighbourhood. The procedure for changing rates for meters, additional locations or hours requires City Council to assess whether this change would have a negative impact on overall parking meter revenues and pass a by-law. However, if the city does not intend to change a meter, it may have to CPM in quarterly true-up if the utilization rate decreases. The solution is to get the system up and running at 100 percent and reduce the true up payment to 0$US or even a positive balance to reduce the budgetary risk for taxpayers. This would make it possible to experiment with a pilot project on the pricing of services, as the risk associated with the effect of changing cash rates on the total turnover of the system would be limited. . . .