Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Privatization of parking meters considered

From the NY Post:

It turns out that New York City's streets actually are paved with gold -- its tens of thousands of parking meters could be worth $5 billion or more if privatized.

City officials are looking at how other cash-strapped municipalities have already auctioned off the long-term rights to their meters for hundreds of millions of dollars -- and say the move could work for the Apple.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith -- assigned by Mayor Bloomberg to find innovative ways to cut spending and increase revenues -- liked the idea enough to bring it up at a city Department of Transportation meeting.

Officials confirmed that the proposal had been discussed. Still, they added that it's not likely to be acted on in the immediate future, given that such a one-shot sell-off of such a revenue generator is out of line with Bloomberg's pledge not to saddle future generations with debts.

Still, if the city's fiscal situation gets desperate enough, the plan could shift quickly to cashing in on the meters.


Anonymous said...

Chicago's privatization has been a sweetheart deal to a politically connected corporation and a boondoggle to boot. The city took an up-front payment and then wont see the majority of the revenue from the meters for another 75 years!
And they sold off the rights to every single meter in Chicago. They didn't even break it up according to wards or whatever system they use over there so that different contracts expire at different times.
Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul

Anonymous said...

Yes great privatize it so a large corporation can get tax money or make money off a public city function that should go back into roads or sidewalks.

As we see all those private contractors in Iraq currently and from the last 8 years have made money off the tax payer dime and none of it has gone back to the citizens. We still owe a certain country over seas billions for that borrowed financing also.

Time's Up said...

Thank you, above commenters. I can make my comment much briefer b/c of you.

Law enforcement is a public, not-for-profit service.

If we think ticket abuse is bad now, wait til a corporation steps in whose sole function is to generate as much money as possible.

Babs said...

Are they NUTS?!

That'll leave NO ONE in New York - it would be like yelling FIRE in a theatre!

Anonymous said...

If it means firing the apes they call "traffic officers" then i am all for it.

Anonymous said...

The "apes" will then be working for The Man.

georgetheatheist said...


Chris in Woodside said...

Privatization is a great idea when it encourages competition. Handing over a monopoly to a private for-profit entity is a disaster at any price.

Goldsmith is former mayor of Indianapolis, which is also considering a privatization scheme like Chicago's, except on even worse terms for the city. My home state also leased the Indiana Turnpike for a song to a foreign operator a few years ago. These are just ways to gloss over budget shortfalls in the short term to get politicians re-elected. Then it royally screws over the generations that follow, eliminating dependable revenue sources for the remainder of the sometimes century-long leases.