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The Parking Meters Collected $131 Million In Revenue In 2014, But Not For The City

By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 7, 2015 3:00PM

"Curse you, parking meter!" (Photo Credit: Rolour Garcia)

As if we needed more reasons to hate on the city's much-maligned parking meter deal, the private firm that runs the city's parking meters had its most lucrative year yet, according to financial records posted to the city's website earlier this week.

As the Chicago Reader reported, Chicago Parking Meters LLC collected another $131 million last year from city drivers, bringing its haul to a total of $633 million in revenues since 2009 and more than half what the firm paid the city back then to take over the system. Of that $131 million, $45 million is money in the bank for Chicago Parking Meters in net operating income.

As a reminder: There are 69 years left on the lucrative parking meter contract that even Mayor Rahm Emanuel knows is "a lemon."

The mayor touted his "reforms" to the deal during his re-election campaign, but as the Reader reports, it doesn't look like the city has saved much money at all.

While Emanuel has criticized the deal throughout his tenure and vowed to reform it, a fundraiser for his reelection campaign held by CPM's law firm, Winston & Strawn, netted him $26 million, and the city has defended the deal in court.