Parking Meter Deal Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Ouch

Time to buy that roll of quarters.

The City of Chicago announced late Wednesday, that the $1.16 billion deal has officially closed and meters will start being changed to the new rates and new days and hours of operation on Friday.

Meters in the Loop will be the first to change, with the new lessee's employees working outward into the neighborhoods.

It should take several weeks before all the meters are changed over. According to the city, they have offered up a timetable that has all 36,000 plus meters changed over in just 24 days. That's 1500 meters a day! I guess we'll have to see, but that sounds a little overly optimistic to me.

Here's the meter rates and meter increase timetable.

*Downtown/Loop: $3.50 an hour (starts February 13)

*Near North, Near West and Near South: $2 an hour (starts February 14)

*Lincoln Park: $1 an hour (starts Feb. 18-19)

*North Side: $1 an hour (starts Feb. 20-28)

*West Side: $1 an hour (starts March 1-2)

*South Side: $1 an hour (starts March 5-9)

After a meter is changed under this new deal, they must be fed 365 days a year. No Sundays off. No parking meter holidays. In some cases, mainly downtown, parking meters will have to be fed 24 hours a day (although the rates are supposed to decrease overnight).

Make sure you check all the signs and stickers on the front of your meter or pay and display machine.

Check out The Expired Meter for even more information and advice about parking, parking tickets and red light tickets in Chicago.