Chicago Parking Meters to Charge $6.50 an Hour

Eric O'Connell/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- It’s about to get a lot more expensive to park your car on the streets of Chicago.

In 2013, metered parking in downtown Chicago will jump 75 cents to $6.50 an hour.  That’s more than double what Chicago residents paid in 2008.  It’s the fourth year in a row that rates have increased.

The new rate earns Chicago the dubious honor of being the city with the most expensive parking meter rates in the country.  San Francisco had been number one.

In comparison, folks in Manhattan, N.Y., pay a parking meter rate of $5 an hour, while Los Angeles residents shell out $4 an hour.

Rates are also increasing for parking meters in other parts of Chicago.

But it’s not the city of Chicago that’s raising the rates.  Back in 2008, under Mayor Richard Daley, the city leased out its parking meters for 75 years to a private company, Chicago Parking Meters LLC.  The contract gave the company the right to increase rates in the first four years of the deal, and also granted future increases based on the rate of inflation, starting in 2014.

Chicago received a one-time payment of more than $1 billion in the deal, but the city’s current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has ordered an independent audit of the 75-year contract.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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