Is There a Smart Way for Cities to Privatize Parking?

Source: Nate Berg, Atlantic Cities, March 13, 2012

The Sacramento City Council voted recently to approve a plan to build a new downtown arena to replace the current suburban home of the Sacramento Kings…But with tight budgetary times facing the city, a $391 million arena project is also a particularly costly venture. To pay for it, the city’s going to have to get creative…So the city is considering a plan to either partially or completely hand over its parking assets to a private company in exchange for some of that cash up front. Officials estimate such a deal could raise more than $200 million….

…Monetizing the city’s parking assets is a critical element of funding the project, and officials like Dangberg are trying to figure out how best to undertake such an effort. If the parking privatization effort goes ahead, it would make Sacramento only the third major city to completely privatize its parking. The two others – Chicago and Indianapolis – have had wildly different experiences with their privatization schemes, paving an uncertain path for Sacramento….

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