Because of a mistake made by Central Parking System (CPS) Chicago
Parking, CTA commuters who pay monthly rates in some CTA Park & Ride
lots got an erroneous letter from CPS this month that their rates are
The rates are not going up. Those letters -- with the bogus
notification of a 4-7% rate hike -- were meant only for CPS monthly
customers at non-CTA parking lots. The CTA says no one has been charged a
When the CTA learned about the CPS screwup, it asked CPS to send a
follow-up notice to CTA Park & Ride customers to clarify that the
increase does not apply to them.
A CTA spokesperson stressed in a note to CTA Tattler that CPS does
not have authority to increase rates without CTA board approval. You can
bet I would have reported such a move by the board if it had happened.
The CTA was roundly criticized by parking lot users when rates were
doubled -- from $2 a day to $4 -- at most lots in January 2009.
The CTA hired CPS to manage 11 of its 17 Park & Ride
lots and its "under the L" parking areas. Under the fiver-year
agreement, the CTA is guaranteed at least $1 million annually. Under the
previous agreement with Standard Parking, the CTA averages $677,000 a
year in revenues from 2004 to 2008.
See the bogus increase notice
on the continuation, plus more news about parking along the Orange Line.
A CTA Tattler reader also wanted to know why parkers in Orange Line
lots only can park for up to 12 hours, while parkers in some other CTA
lots can park for 24 hours, or pay variable rates for longer periods.
The CTA spokesperson said parking is limited to 12 hours along the
Orange Line -- and at Midway in particular -- "to restrict overnight
parking to be sure space is available for morning commuters.
"At Midway in particular, because the rates are low compared to
airport parking, the 12-hour limit helps keep the lot available for the
use of commuters and not as a cheap parking alternative for travelers or
airport employees," said the spokesperson. She noted that parking at the Midway terminal lot costs $18 for
8-12 hours, and $23 for 12 to 16 hours.
CPS patrols the lots and issues $49 ticket to those who overstay
their 12-hour welcome. CTA's spokesperson said, "If someone thinks they
were ticketed in error or they were just running a little late, they
would appropriately address the issue with CPS. The value of the ticket
is $49, but if the violator responds within 2 weeks, they only pay $29."
Here's the bogus rate increase notice: