Chester Parking Meter Contract Limits City Revenue, Impedes Shopping, Receiver Says

A parking meter.
Image via Jenn Durfey, Creative Commons.

Chester’s contract with a parking meter manager is under scrutiny since it favors the manager over the city for revenue, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.

“There’s an individual right now who’s getting a parking ticket from a meter that’s going to the parking manager, the city’s not seeing a dime of it,” said Vijay Kapoor, chief of staff to Receiver Michael Doweary.

Doweary has been overseeing Chester’s finances as a Receiver for the state of Pennsylvania due to the city’s struggle with multi-million dollar deficits.

The manager has agreed to pay a $1 million advance to Chester for installing 1,500 parking meters. Chester has received $300,000 of the advance because only 750 meters have been installed.

Under the contract, the city has no power to force the installation of all 1,500 meters but the manager can continue to collect 100 percent of revenues as long as it wants.

Hourly meter fees in Chester are now $2, higher than Philadelphia, Media, Upper Darby, and West Chester. Cost of expired tickets is also significantly higher.

Kapoor said the meters hurt local businesses by adding a barrier to downtown shopping.

The Receiver is considering canceling the contract.

Read more at WHYY about Chester’s problem with its parking revenue.

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