Parking Meter Company To Resume Ticketing Monday

After a 15 month hiatus, Chicago Parking Meter, LLC, the private company which controls the city’s parking meter system, will resume parking meter enforcement starting Monday according to the Department of Revenue.

However, instead of hiring and overseeing its own staff, CPM has contracted SERCO, a company that has been providing supplemental parking enforcement for the city for the past 10 years, to handle their enforcement.

As part of the city’s $1.16 billion parking meter lease deal signed in December of 2008, CPM was given the ability to hire its own parking enforcement personnel to issue tickets for expired meters.  The parking meter company is looking to stepped up enforcement as a way to improve payment compliance and therefore improve their bottom line.  Drivers fearing expired meter tickets when parking in metered spaces, are going to be more apt to feed the meter than risk a $50 ticket.

However, in March of 2009, after a series of embarrassing missteps in the transition of control of the meters, the city asked CPM to voluntary halt enforcement until the company had smoothed out all the problems.

According to the Department of Revenue, meter violations have decreased in 2010, from 187,597 in 2010 (through May) compared to 215,981 in 2009 for the same time period–a 13% decrease.

The city claims parking ticket issuance has been decreasing for the past 10 years. Only 2.75 million tickets were issued in 2009 vs. 2.85 million the year before. 3.4 million tickets were issued in 1999.

But this added enforcement personnel should give a big boost to the city to improve their meter violations numbers and total tickets issued for 2010 and beyond. Just based on conservative estimates, this new personnel will write over 31,000 additional tickets and generate well over $1.5 million in revenue for the city.

Even though enforcement personnel on behalf of CPM will issue tickets, the city will keep all the revenue from the fines generated from the violations.

20 Responses to Parking Meter Company To Resume Ticketing Monday

  1. So the parking tickets are issued “on behalf of city” by SERCO, the city keeps all the money?

  2. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Yes, that’s correct.

    CPM ala SERCO issues the tickets.

    The city keeps all the ticket revenue (fines).

    CPM reaps all the revenue from higher compliance due to fear of getting a ticket.

    SERCO is paid by CPM.

  3. Who's Getting Paid? says:

    A politically connected NON UNION private ticketing company has had an exclusive contract with the city for the past 10 years. Now they will step in to also provide their “services” for CPM?

    Who is SERCO?

    How can they run a non-union shop doing union work here in Chicago?

    Doesn’t a 10 year contract violate city and state procurement laws?

    When was the last time their contract was bid out?

    How much are they paid each year for writing tickets?

    More importantly, how much have they spent in political contributions?

    Follow the Money!

    Come on Geek! Get your TV & radio friends in on the action!

  4. DoR Employee says:

    Ser Co has been enforcing for longer than CPM has existed…give me a break kids.

    I talk to Laz employees daily…they don’t want to enforce. They want nothing to do with ticket books or auto-cites.

    Ser Co takes pride in writing bogus violations and for forcing their employees to have a quota.

    But hey…its Chicago.

    You people continue to take it up the arse from Daley and nothing is going to change.

    Me? I have never voted for him in my life and I will continue to vote against him…even though I am a Democratic party member

  5. Greg says:

    Does anyone know the hours Serco works combing the streets?

    Am I correct that DOR just works during the day? Do they work weekends? Is Serco out there at the times the city ticket writers aren’t?

  6. DoR Employee says:


    Ser Co works:

    Mon-Thurs : 7pm – 3am (excluding small detail assigned to City Clerks office)
    Fri/Sat/Sun : 24 hour rotating shifts starting 7pm Friday Evening and ending 3am Monday morning.

    CPM/LAZ want the City to pay them a Percentage of the Revenue Generated from Expired Meter tickets and the City doesn’t want to share.

    And I ask again…How is it legal to have a Private, Non-Municipal Agency Enforce Municipal Code?

  7. glg says:

    DOR –
    9-100-030-b contains a list of people authorized to issue tickets.

    “any police officer, traffic control aide, other designated member of the police department, parking enforcement aide or other person designated by the city traffic compliance administrator observing such violation may issue a parking or compliance violation notice”

    key part is “other person…” So, to be legal to use SERCO, all they had to do was have somebody designate them.

  8. Who Got Paid? says:

    Will SERCO enforce the meters 24/7? Sounds to me like if they only write parking meter tickets during the hours that DoR mentioned the impact on meter parking will be minimal.

    Since SERCO is non-union, the union that covers parking ticket writers would be insane to allow this to happen. Non-union SERCO performing collective bargaining unit work during the same hours as union members is a prelude to full privatization of ticket writing.

    SERCO has a long history of union busting tactics. The US and Chicago are firmly in their sights.

  9. [...] last spring after the transition was plagued by problems including malfunctioning meter pay boxes. According to The Expired Meter, CPM has hired Serco, Inc., a firm that has helped with the city’s parking ticket enforcement [...]

  10. DoR Employee says:


    Currently….SerCo does not do anything between the Hours of 6am and 7pm when DoR PEA’s are working….except patrol with City Clerk units hunting for City Sticker violators.

    Ser Co can circle jerk if they want to….we have the documentation to file a federal lawsuit against the city and Serco for improper business practices anytime we want to.

  11. [...] yourself a bowl of Chicago Blackhawks adorned Wheaties and hear the two discuss the resumption of parking meter enforcement Monday by Chicago Parking Meters, [...]

  12. TheReader says:

    This isn’t much different than if the City were to “beef up” its Serco contract. The only difference is, the taxpayers of Chicago aren’t paying for the additional enforcement.

    You get a ticket because you broke the law. As a taxpayer in the City, I love seeing parking tickets on windows. That’s one more suburbanite/tourist paying for part of the city budget so I don’t have to.

    Again, don’t break the law = Don’t get a ticket.

    And yes, bogus ticket, blah, blah, blath. Like all those guys in prison who are innocent.

  13. SS says:

    Oh, Reader, if you only knew the bogus tickets I’ve received, fought and won, sometimes through the appeals process, at the expense of my time and missed wages. But there’s a principle involved, so I persist.

  14. DoR Employee says:

    And SS……amazingly enough….Most of those bogus tickets were probably issued by Ser Co or CPD/TMA’s.

    There is less accountability in those agencies than the PEA’s have….and it pisses us off to no end.

    I see 20′ to Crosswalk tickets….no sign or even No Damn Crosswalk lines….by Serco

    I see Outside of Meter’d Space…written on cars that are not in a Pay Lot….by CPD/TMA’s.

    I see CPD in 11th ward write Street Cleaning Tickets…….before 9am.

    Feel free to Bitch…but get it right at least.

  15. SS says:

    DoR: Many were by CPD and one cop in particular; many I have no clue who wrote them (I don’t know how to distinguish). I was, and I think Reader was too, speaking in general terms about parking tickets issued. S/he, like the city, presumes guilt. I know better.

  16. DoR Employee says:

    News from on high today…

    PTG was correct.

  17. DoR(k) says:

    The Serco contract is not an exclusive contract – and was rebid in 2006. You people bitch about facts and have little clue. Do you actually look anything up or are you just disgruntled? Mabe you should read your own contract. Being a union member makes one a little jaded. Serco’s accountability is the face value of the ticket that was written. I doubt PEAs carry that responsiblitiy. Why don’t you quit you whining and read the Serco contract publicly available at

    I have worked in both non-union and currently union positions. There are ways to secure our foothold in the market share but talking out your ass gives all members a bad name and the idea it takes 3 of us to do a one person (non union member)job.

  18. Matt.Darst says:

    Dork..since I no longer work for Dept of Revenue, I can comment my opinions Freely.

    Of course DoR Employee is Jaded. PEA’s in SEIU gets screwed every contract time by the City because of the Crossing Guards and the TMA’s and CPS unit and the Aviation Police members and a few others in the Parks district. They have the Smallest number in the Local..and get shat on because of the other members.

    I happen to know that there are PEA’s in the Dept of Revenue Street Operations division that make the lazy ones look even more pathetic than they actually are.

    Do I understand that people get worn out due to overbearing managers and supervisors? Yes.

    Do I understand that this is a Job we pay individuals fairly well to do, and thus expect them to do their best daily? Yes.

    Do I think the time wasters should retire and go work at McD’s if they want to be lazy? Hell yes.

    We have PEA’s that individually do the work of 3 people or more Weekly.

    I have known for some time who Ticketmaster and LdyPEA and DoR employee are…and I never told; because I consider what they post here to be of Value. And I know which locations all 3 work out of.

    The Ser Co contract is a quality idea on par with the Meter Lease, the Skyway Deal, the Parking Lot contract with Standard and the Attempted Lease of Midway…

    That is to say…Moronic and Stupid.

  19. [...] piece in today Sun-Times, city hall reporter Fran Spielman reports the unbelievable news that the recently re-deployed ticket writers on behalf of Chicago Parking Meters, LLC are actually…writing [...]

  20. [...] the right to conduct their own supplemental enforcement for expired meter violations. The company, resumed enforcement back in June after a 15 month [...]

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