Chicago CFO wants you to use public transit more… but not for the reasons you might think

revenue projections for the company “are on the optimistic side” and that there is a strong chance that parking demand could drop off at some point due to future rate increases or expanded use of public transit.

If you read the entire article that this comes from, you’ll learn that:

1) Chicago Parking Meters, the company that leased from the city just what their name suggests, is swimming in cash.

2) One of the reasons they are so flush is that parking usage has not dropped as much as expected.

I guess the thinking was that once parking became more expensive, people would use it less. What this kind of genius reasoning failed to take into account is that as long as people still have cars, they have to park them somewhere. If that were not true, all those garages where it costs like $25 to park for 3 minutes would be standing empty.

3) Daley and his underlings are certain that Chicago Parking Meters’ revenue projections are on the rosy side because maybe the price will go up again (a market force that didn’t lead to a drop in usage at least once already) and maybe you’ll start taking public transit more (a laughable proposition to anyone who has lived in Chicago longer than 10 minutes).

So, to sum up, move along, nothing to see here. The parking meter lease deal was FANTASTIC for Chicagoans and for the city’s coffers which, if you haven’t heard, are set to be $654 million in the red: http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2010/07/city-budget-shortfall-is…

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