Chicago Meter Rates – Downtown Parking Rates Highest in the Nation

 In Chicago, Corporate, Events, News

Those who park in downtown Chicago have noticed over the past five years the meter rates skyrocketing upwards. On January 1st, 2013, the parking meter rates reached an incredible $6.50 per hour, making Chicago the most expensive city in the US to park at a parking meter.

The ever-climbing rate which currently is outpacing other large cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Seattle can be attributed to the 2008 agreement between then Mayor Richard Daily who leased the city’s metered parking spaces to a private company to the tune of $1.16 billion for 75 years.

However, the downside of that agreement was that the parking meter fees would be allowed to climb annually for the first five years of the contract. This assured that Chicago would be the most expensive city to park a car at a downtown meter. Additionally, meters in other areas of Chicago have been rising at the same pace.

The central business district has seen its parking meter rates climb to $4 per hour while the neighborhoods which were a mere 25 cents per hour only five years ago are now $2 per hour. This incredible rise in parking meter rates has brought about much frustration and outrage from the Chicago community.

What can Chicago residents do in light of rising parking meter rates?

There are a few things that Chicago residents can do to save money and even avoid using parking meters. While such efforts will require a change in their daily habit of driving solo into the city, there are some advantages to be gained.

Public Transportation

The bus and rail lines continue to be the most cost efficient way to travel into the downtown area. By leaving the vehicle behind, there are no parking meters to pay.

Car Pooling

Having four in the car as opposed to one means that the parking meter fee can be split among each person, saving some money for shopping trips or visitations that only need a short time period to complete.

SMARTCars Limo Service

With the parking rates only continuing to increase, it has never been more affordable to book a limo to and from the downtown area. For those who are hosting a special event, perhaps taking clients to and from the airport, having a prom, bachelor or bachelorette party or just a night out on the town, a limo service can save a significant amount of money in parking meter fees.

Considering that a normal travel schedule may require two or more stops along the way to pick up or drop off people at particular places, paying the parking meter fee can quickly add up. However, by using a limo service to do all the driving, these fees can be avoided. For businesses looking to pick up clients or customers, such charges can be taken into account when booking appropriate transportation. For those looking to see the sights in Chicago, a limo service can be a cost-efficient alternative to other travel methods.

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