New kiosks to accept credit cards at CTA park-and-ride lots

CTA tells aldermen that deal won't raise $4 parking rate
Commuters will be able to use either cash or credit cards at new electronic parking kiosks to be installed at the CTA's park-and-ride lots next month, aldermen were told Monday.

The new kiosks will be in place at 11 of the CTA's 17 parking facilities and will be administered by Nashville, Tenn.-based Central Parking System.

Commuters who park at the lots won't see an increase from the current $4 parking rate, officials said. But the deal is expected to net the CTA an additional $600,000 in revenue each year, they said.

Multiple kiosks will be installed at larger lots like the one at Cumberland Avenue, which has more than 1,000 spaces, CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said. "The locations will be a combination of where its both convenient for customers, but also based on where we can run power to power them," she said.

Aldermen, who attended a briefing on the deal, voiced concerns ranging from possible fee hikes to how far motorists might have to walk to use the kiosks.

They also asked whether heaters keep the pay machines from freezing like the street parking boxes that malfunctioned during last week's cold snap.

Gaffney said the contract would benefit Central Parking System if more people use the park-and-ride lots, so the company "has motivation to make it as convenient and beneficial for customers as possible."

The contract is one of several deals aimed at closing the CTA's projected $300 million budget deficit in 2010.
Chicago Transit Authority
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