Chicago Parking Meters Offers the Top 5 Tips for Parking in the City
August 1, 2012—CHICAGO – Summer is in full swing, and with that comes trips to lakefront beaches, visits to Millennium Park, Italian ice on Taylor Street and neighborhood festivals, not to mention friends and family visiting from out of town, looking for tips to navigate and tour Chicago with ease.
Parking to visit popular summer destinations throughout the City of Chicago can be easy and affordable. Chicago Parking Meters LLC offers tips for making summer driving – and summer parking – convenient and cost effective.
- Use the internet to plan parking.
The website, chicagometers.com, includes an interactive map, featuring rates, hours and pay box locations. Parkers can quickly search by address and find various options in the area.
- Plan ahead and pre-pay for parking to eliminate an extra trip to pay the meter while you could be shopping instead.
Most pay boxes offer pre-payment. Motorists parking at 24-hour meters can generally pre-pay until 10 a.m. unless rush-hour restrictions are in place. At most other meters, pre-pay is offered as early as 5 a.m.
- Pay attention to the time and signs, noting special restrictions.
When you walk away from your car, double-check how much time you bought and whether your stay will be interrupted by any special restrictions, such as rush-hour tow zones or street cleaning.
- Rates vary; be sure to check the rates in your zone with particular attention to evening parking — many times, it’s free.
In most areas of the city, rates are $1.75 per hour. In the Central Business District outside the Loop (Lake Michigan to the east, North Avenue to the north, Halsted Street to the west, and Roosevelt Road to the south, exclusive of the Loop), rates are $3.50 per hour. Inside the Loop (Lake Michigan to the east, Wacker Drive to the north and west, and Congress Parkway to the south), rates are $5.75 per hour from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the same rate for two hours from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Payment is required 7 days a week including holidays. Outside the Loop, parking is free at most meters after 9 p.m.
- Use it, don’t lose it—remaining time on parking receipts is transferrable.
Receipts purchased at pay boxes are good until expiration at any meter with the same or lower hourly rate zones. Receipts are clearly printed with the rate and expiration time, so motorists can easily determine if their receipts can be used to continue parking. Since the vast majority of meters are located in neighborhoods at the same rate, parkers can take their payment receipts with them as they visit many different locations.
About Chicago Parking Meters
Chicago Parking Meters LLC (CPM) is the third-largest metered parking system in the United States and the largest system privately operated under a concession agreement. CPM is responsible for the operation, management, maintenance, and rehabilitation of Chicago's on-street parking, and since 2009 has invested over $35 million in system modernization and customer service improvements. With electronic pay boxes at most of the approximately 36,000 metered spaces in the city’s downtown and neighborhood areas and maintenance processes, it is one of the most sophisticated parking operations in the U.S. and has resulted in Chicago being ranked #1 in the world for on-street parking in IBM’s 2011 Global Parking Survey. CPM, through its philanthropy program, CPM Community Partners, serves Chicago’s communities by investing both time and money in youth-focused organizations across the city. For more information, please visit www.chicagometers.com.