Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has awarded $203 million in contracts to manage parking and ground transportation at O’Hare and Midway Airports to a clout-heavy company that’s had a lock on the business for nearly two decades.
Standard Parking was one of four companies vying for the five-year, $145 million O’Hare contract in a field that included LAZ Parking, the operator hired by the consortium that paid $1.15 billion to lease Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters for 75 years.
In the competition for the five-year, $58 million Midway parking contract, Standard beat out a four-member field of competitors that included LAZ, Imperial Parking and CPS Chicago Parking LLC.
Standard Parking served as an O’Hare parking consultant for much of the 1980s before assuming control over the entire operation in 1993 in exchange for a $250,000-a-year management fee, plus incentives for generating additional revenue.
The company promised to save the city $3 million-a-year and usher in an array of customer amenities that ranged from musical floor reminders, more cashier lanes and valet parking to car repairs for out-of-town travelers and battery charges on cold-weather days.
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