Parking Meter rate increase in effect
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
The final rate increase for parking meters throughout the city will take effect on Jan. 2 based on the rate schedule that was contained in the parking meter concession agreement between the city and Chicago Parking Meters.
The rate will increase from $1.75 per hour to $2 per hour in most parts of the city, including the Northwest Side. In the central business district, which is bounded by Lake Michigan, North Avenue, Halsted Street and Roosevelt Road, the rate will increase from $3.50 to $4 per hour.
In the Loop, bounded by the lake, Wacker Drive to the north and west and Congress Parkway to the south, the rate will increase from $5.75 to $6.50 per hour from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rate in the Loop will be $6.50 for 2 hours from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Payment at meters outside the Loop is not required between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. unless otherwise posted.
No rate increases have been scheduled for 2014, but they are possible to keep up with inflation.
The new rate hikes will take effect beginning in the Loop and spreading outward throughout the city by the end of February.
Pay boxes near theaters, concert halls, schools, hospitals and other places where drivers require more than a 2-hour stay can be programmed to offer pre-payment where possible.
Motorists parking at 24-hour meters can pre-pay until 10 a.m. unless rush hour restrictions are in place. At most other meters, motorists can pre-pay as early as 5 a.m. until 10 a.m. or later.
Under the deal brokered by former mayor Richard Daley, the city agreed to lease its parking meters to the company for 75 years for about $1.157 billion. Most of that money was spent to plug the city’s budget deficit before Daley retired last year.
Broken meters can be reported by calling 877-242-7901 or on the company’s Web site, which can be reached at www.chicagometers.com.