Chicago raising prices on downtown meters making them most expensive in country

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago soon will have the most expensive downtown parking meters in the nation.

On New Year's Day, meters in the city's downtown Loop area will charge $6.50 an hour -- an increase from the current rate of $5.75.

A report from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says the rate change will make Chicago the city with the most expensive metered parking.

The company that operates the meters plans to have all machines set to new rates by the end of February. Drivers don't have to pay the new rates until the machine they're using has been reset.

Former Mayor Richard Daley got the City Council to approve the 75-year contract that gave the company control of the meters. In return, the city got a one-time payment of $1.1 billion.

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