Chicago to lease parking meters to private business

| 12/3/2008

Chicago officials have already leased the Skyway toll road, Midway International Airport and downtown parking garages to private operators, and now they’re privatizing the city’s 36,000 parking meters.

At a press conference Tuesday, Dec. 2, it was announced that a group of private investors, which includes Morgan Stanley, will pay the city more than $1 billion for a 75-year lease.

The city will continue to provide parking enforcement, but the investors will be free to substantially increase the parking fees. The Chicago Tribune reported that the most expensive spots downtown will increase from $3 an hour to $6.50 in the next five years under the lease deal.

Mayor Richard Daley plans to use money from the deal to plug up a large hole in the city’s budget.