Tag Archives: Chicago Parking Meters LLC
The LAZ Parking executive being investigated by the FBI for allegedly accepting $90,000 in kick backs to steer a multi-million dollar contract for parking meter pay boxes to his employer has been fired.
The Sun-Times reports LAZ Parking took the action Saturday after confirming the probe which began in February. The investigation was most likely triggered by a similar bribery situation in Portland, OR when the city employee in charge of city parking was found to have accepted bribes from George Levey, the head of Cale Parking System, to have the city purchase his company’s pay boxes.
LAZ Parking, the contractor in charge of street operations for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, the company which controls this city’s metered parking system, purchased $22 million in Cale’s parking meter pay boxes for Chicago.
Fox Chicago News and a bevy of other media outlets picked up on The Expired Meter’s story on the issues with ParkChicago users getting ticketed while paid up using the app.
Newsradio 780′s Nancy Harty also had a short radio report as well.
City officials confirm that 317 drivers using the recently released ParkChicago pay-by-phone app have reported receiving tickets for an expired-meter violation — even though there was still time on the meter — in the first two months since the app’s rollout began in May.
Chicago Parking Meters spokesman Scott Burnham said only a small percentage of parkers who used the app have gotten tickets, although he didn’t say how many times the app had been used overall to pay meters.
The city has issued 81,868 expired-meter tickets to all parkers citywide since the app became available, although most of those went to parkers using the pay boxes on the street.
The ParkChicago app debuted to great fanfare in a West Loop pilot test in mid-April. It allows drivers to use their Android or iOS smartphones to pay their parking meter without having to walk to the parking meter paybox.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
Meanwhile, a change in state law that greatly limited which disabled drivers can park for free at the meters could also save the city a bundle, city officials say.
According to data based on audited financial statements filed by Chicago Parking Meters late last week, the amount of money the city must pay the meter operator when meters are taken out of commission — known as “true up” payments — has dropped dramatically since the revised deal went into effect last June.
Since that time, the city paid CPM $6.6 million in “true up” payments, or an average of $1.65 million per quarter.
In the five quarters preceding the revised deal, the payments averaged $10.2 million per quarter.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
The company just completed a successful pilot test of the app in a four block area of the West Loop where the company saw more than 3,500 people download the ParkChicago app and 1,600 drivers sign up to use it.
The rollout will expand outward from areas adjacent to the pilot area to the rest of the 36,000 metered spaces citywide. Workers will need several months to replace the approximately 42,000 signs with new ones which instruct drivers on how to use the new system. The city and CPM promise ParkChicago will be available everywhere by the end of the summer but hope it’s finished sooner.
“We launched the pilot to garner feedback from the public, and the response from
drivers and local businesses has been very positive,” said CPM’s CEO Dennis Pedrelli. “We look forward to introducing this new service to residents, commuters and visitors around the city, as we continue to seek out new ways to improve the parking experience in Chicago.”
NBC 5 reported on the recent outbreak of parking meter vandalism which erupted on the North Side last week and interviewed a few people to get their thoughts.
Not that surprisingly, most people were not very sympathetic. In fact, one gentleman was supportive of the vandals destructive efforts.
Turnaround is fair play according to our friends at Second City Cop blog.
It seems a vehicle owned by LAZ Parking, the contractor which handles parking meter enforcement for Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, was issued a ticket for ironically–parking illegally.
CPM, which controls the city’s parking meter system for the next 70 years, under their contract can utilize it’s own parking enforcement crews to write expired meter tickets.
As The Expired Meter reported recently, CPM’s enforcement team has written millions of dollars in parking tickets over the past few years.
Even funnier is the fact that the ticket was issued up in Edison Park, according to SCC.
Late Sunday, the city reminded drivers a new pay by phone app called ParkChicago will be released this Spring by Chicago Parking Meters, LLC.
The smart phone app will allow drivers to bypass interacting with a parking meter pay box where a meter receipt has to be displayed on the dashboard.
One of the main benefits is the ability to plug the parking meter remotely, instead of having to leave to walk back to the car.
Another benefit will be that the app will send the driver a text alert to remind them when their meter time is expiring. The downside is there is a 35 cent convenience fee that will be tacked on for every transaction under the maximum time allowed at the meter. If a driver pays for the normal two hour maximum, the fee will be waived.
Pay by phone payment was something the Emanuel administration had pushed in its renegotiation of the parking meter lease agreement with Chicago Parking Meters, LLC last spring.
According to the city, drivers will initially be able to use the Park Chicago app downtown in early spring. Eventually motorists will be able to use it citywide at any Chicago parking meter paybox.
Counterfeit parking meter receipts, that’s what.
According to the Chicago Tribune, unscrupulous valet parking companies may be producing their own fake parking meter receipts using a personal computer and a printer.
The Trib says valet parking companies are supposed to park customer cars in private garages or off street lots. But supposedly, some valet services try to cut corners and costs by parking cars on the street and allegedly some are using counterfeit meter receipts to cut costs even further.
On the coldest day of the winter, this parking meter pay box in the 1600 block of W. North Avenue seems to be bundle up for protection from the arctic temperatures early this week.
In reality, construction work was being done on a new school and this section of metered parking spaces were temporarily closed to allow large trucks to park and perform some work.