Privitazation — Are on street rates taken into consideration


Privitazation — Are on street rates taken into consideration

When companies spend a billion dollars to buy public garages (OK lease them) do they take into account what the city can do with on street parking rates.  OK, Chicago might be a unique case since the garages are in areas without a lot of on street parking, but what about other cities that want to sell or privatize their facilities.

Let’s say a certain city has a garage it wants to sell.  That garage is surrounded by on street parking with meters.  What is to keep the city from being "nice" to its residents (read that voters) and keeping the on street pricing low while that new garage owner must charge higher prices just to make his payments to the city?

There is usually a lot of parking available in areas surrounding a parking deck. It is usually unused because people park in the deck. However if the deck is being run like a business those folks may be motivated to park where its cheaper. and the business will have a problem.

What if the city decided to start a cheap on street valet program to support local clubs and restaurants. The merchant bank that bought the garage might have budgeted for a lot of night time parking, but with the on street valet, they would be stymied there.

Hmmmmmm.  Do these big banks know what they are buying when they buy a city owned garage? Do they know that they are also buying in to the parking policies of the city in question. Policies that can readily put them out of business.

I wonder


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I have always argued that parking is the only business that cities compete directly with the private sector. They can use on-street space, which costs them nothing to improve and is exempt from any screening requirements, and cut rates below the market. Since they don’t have to pay taxes or other fees, they have a ridiculous competitive edge.
    (Oh, Did I mention that they rarely comply with ADA needs in their on-street parking?)
    Yes, cities do many things to private operators, often without knowing how hard it is for the private sector to make things work.
    Do I hear any replies from the anti-Shoupistas?

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