City chooses firm to oversee parking-meter operations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indianapolis has selected a private company to handle its parking-meter operations, officials announced Friday morning.

The city has agreed to enter into a 50-year lease agreement with Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services Inc., according to city officials. Under terms, the city will receive $35 million upfront and a share of revenue, which is expected to increase during the span of the agreement from 20 percent to 50 percent.

The contract is expected to generate more than $400 million for the city over the life of the 50-year deal. It also should result in the creation of 200 jobs, the city said.

ACS plans to spend up to $10 million to replace the city’s antiquated coin meters with newer models that will accept credit cards. As a result, hourly parking rates are expected to rise from 75 cents to as much as $1.50 in Broad Ripple and some busy downtown areas.

A long-term lease deal and the additional revenue generated by higher fees would help the city repair streets, sidewalks and alleys in those areas. The mayor said the $35 million from ACS will be used in part to pay for a new parking garage in Broad Ripple. The city is already scouting locations and hope to announce details in the near future.

Besides higher meter rates, metered hours would extend to 9 p.m. in busier downtown areas and to 8 p.m. in quieter parts. In Broad Ripple, hours would stretch to 11 p.m.

Most metered parking in the city now runs until 6 p.m., with a two-hour limit.

One of the goals of the proposal is to spur turnover at the most valuable parking spots in downtown and Broad Ripple, which would boost economic development and potentially generate more customers for businesses.

The hourly meter rate of 75 cents has not increased since 1975.

New rates would not take effect until later this year or early next year, depending on when the City-County Council approves a manager. The City-County Council could consider the recommendation at its next meeting on Monday.

The deal with ACS so far only involves parking meters. The city is still negotiating a 10-year deal, also led by ACS, to operate all the city and CIB parking garages and surface lots, with the exception of the Circle Centre garages.

The city’s formal request for qualifications, issued in February, asked for proposals to oversee all 3,600 metered parking spaces; two city parking garages; two state-owned parking garages and one surface lot; three downtown garages now managed by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group; planned surface and garage parking at the new Wishard Memorial Hospital; and three surface lots and one garage now operated by Marion County’s Capital Improvement Board.

Under the hybrid parking management system, locally based Denison Parking handles meter enforcement while city employees are responsible for meter maintenance and coin collection. The parking team also includes Indianapolis-based Evens Time Inc.

Under the city’s proposal with ACS, Denison will continue to oversee enforcement.

As IBJ reported earlier this year, Indianapolis received 16 responses to its privatization plan and narrowed the number down to seven.

City leaders undoubtedly hope their deal produces better results than a high-profile state contract involving ACS. The firm was one of 10 companies that won a $1 billion, IBM-led contract with the state to privatize Indiana Family & Social Services claims processing. Gov. Daniels ultimately canceled the agreement in October after numerous problems, and FSSA and IBM each have filed lawsuits against the other in Marion County over the cancellation.



  • City Council?
    Any chance the City-County Council will actually be critical of this deal? Or will they be easily distracted by the dollar signs?
  • Once Again
    we find ourselves the victim of Mayor McCheese's short-sightedness. This city is going down the tubes big time. Will someone please step in and help? Someone with half a brain?
  • Follow the people trail
    Steve Goldsmith and Mitch Rube at the City award a 10-year no-bid contract to ACS.

    Goldsmith and Rube go to work for ACS - Goldsmith as Executive VP.

    Rube becomes Director at FSSA. ACS is awarded welfare system privatization contract.

    Goldsmith becomes an advisor to Mayor McCheese. Huber comes over from the State (the City privatization projects look a lot like the toll road lease).

    ACS is awarded the parking privatization contract.

    The IndyStar reported that the City stands to gain $400 million over the next 50 years. If the City's share at best during the contract is 50%, wouldn't it stand to reason that ACS stands to reap at least $400 million?

    Just like the toll road lease, this is all about taking long-term profits upfront for short-term political gains (and shifting rate increases to a private-sector vendor). This is a management issue that demands real leadership. And we haven't seen much leadership from the Mayor's office.
  • Borrow and spend philosophy.
    This administration is essentially positioning itself to spend revenue that would otherwise be available to succeeding administrations. In essence, the arrangement is thinly veiled debt, that is, borrowing against future revenue.

    Back of the envelope figures indicate that the price is in the ball park. Does Indianapolis really need this particular $35,000,000? Is it to fund professional sports, either directly or otherwise?

    The alternative is to raise taxes, reduce spending or both. That would take real character. The combination of sales tax, income tax and property taxes are already relatively heavy for Indianapolis. The only remaining option would be to reduce spending, politically a third rail.

    Indianapolis needs fiscal discipline, not creative financing.
  • Chicago Paid $500 million for $11 BIllion in Revenue
    Morgan Stanley's $11 Billion Makes Chicago Taxpayers Cry

    Chicago drivers will pay a Morgan Stanley-led partnership at least $11.6 billion to park at city meters over the next 75 years, 10 times what Mayor Richard Daley got when he leased the system to investors in 2008.

  • Math Doesn't Add Up
    The city currently collects $750,000 a year in just parking meter revenue(not including city parking lots/garages) they plan to double rates and extend paying time till 11:00.

    This 50 year deal gives the city $35 million up front and only 20% of revenues going forward? Heck just collecting the current parking meter money for that period would be $37.5 million.
  • Wow.. a parking garage?
    Couldnt this be used on something more sustainable like say.... transportation improvements to handle the same problem? Sickening..
  • Selling City Assets and Services to the highest bidder
    This all boils down to GOP greed and special interests to their special interests. Sure, give away the city assets, allow private sector to raise the hell out of parking fees for the compay's guarenteed profits, and when the people complain, the GOP will chime in WE DID NOT RAISE ANY TAXES. This is so typical GOP thinking. Give it away and let the special interests do the dirty work. I am sure Ballard and the GOP will get big, big bucks in campaign paybacks for the sweetheart deal.

    After all Mitch did it, Now he wants to become president to sell off the National Parks to more special interests. America is up for the highest bidder who will put big bucks into the politians pockets all the while the GOP having already sent American jobs to foreign countries and boast it is all about capitalism, is now looking for ways to sell what is left.

    America will not survive in the hands of the GOP.
  • against it
    Current system works just fine. It's not expensive, money goes to the City, and there is no apparent need for major capital improvments (when it comes to parking infrastructure).

    This deal is all about typical short-term politicial thinking...we want to give up future income stream for money up front so we can win next election. And yes, let's have a private sector increase the rates, because then voters won't be able to blame us.

    I am ok with outsourcing jobs to private sector if they can do it better. But this is completely unnecessary. If mayor wants to spend money for capital improvements, then raise taxes. Don't go beating around the bush, and selling future revenue streams. But it's hard to do that when you campaigned and got elected on "lower taxes rhetoric".
  • Simple Solution
    Hey, Here is an idea.

    Why doesn't the city raise the parking rates itself, buy new parking meters, and collect ALL the profits instead of giving someone else 80% of the profits for almost 50 years?

    They want upfront cash? Sell Muni Bonds backed by parking receivables.
  • mixed bag
    If we're every going to get folks to use public transportation, we're going to have to make it uncomfortable for them to keep using their cars, so raising rates will help that - of course that assumes there are not enough "attractions" downtown that demand for them has become a lot less elastic.

    Boosting rates, and hours, in Broad Ripple might be another question. While all current public transportation runs through downtown, getting to Broad Ripple from other than downtown still relies heavily on automobiles, so you have to assume this will further push Broad Ripple parking into the surrounding neighborhoods, which means pushing the already growing crime and littler problems there as well.
  • Streets
    "Giving away streets"? How are the streets going anywhere? Of course, they aren't. I'm not saying this deal is the best way to go, maybe not, but let's quit acting like we're selling our streets and they're going away or something.
  • hiring a failure from Texas
    Privatizing the Work One services had no oversight. The Call Centers for Work One do not work half the time, making clients use the county office, which,in Monroe County, was pared to 2 Clerks.
    The FSSA privatization has worked so poorly that Indiana is fined 1.2 million by the Feds because of poor service and the privatization was stopped in midstream. Even after 3 years of trying to tweak their system, ACS is still unable to follow the Federal time guidelines on getting people the services that they are eligible for. Provision of Medicaid Disability has been at a virtual standstill since they were hired in 2007. Note that IBM was to provide the computer programming updating and updated machines. ACS is in charge of providing workers,and training them to answer questions and manage the paperwork. ACS still has not figured out how to get the incoming paperwork to the online case that it belongs to. They have hired more and more workers and still can't do it. But have they had their contract cancelled?? No! The Question is Why??
  • Logic
    The 2 hour limit stops at 6 and now that changes. You can't park on the street anymore if you come downtown for events you have to go to unsafe parking garages.
  • Mitch Roob AGAIN??
    ACS, where MItch Roob, Our Governor's right hand man, was VP. Mitch Daniels gets into office and ACS is "awarded" the contract to produce and run Workone with Call Centers, while the Caseworkers were gotten rid of. Then Mitch Daniels privatized the Food Stamp/Medicaid office and "Awarded" the contract to IBM/ACS. Publicity was given to IBM giving up the privatization but ACS is still under contract to run the failed Call Centers.
    Question is, is anyone investigating WHY ACS is getting all the contracts for running services for Indiana?? Could it be that Mitch Roob, former VP, has some influence with people who make the decisions??
  • 43-page report by Chicago's inspector general.
    IGO Report Closely Examines Parking Meter Lease, Recommends Major Reforms

  • Illinois Attorney General
    Don't think the citizens of Chicago thought this was such a good idea especially after the inspector general got involved.

    Chicago Lost $1 Billion On Parking Meter Deal

    Charts and graphs in Hoffman's report say the city, eager to balance the budget, unloaded its meter revenues for $974 million less than they were actually worth over the life of the 75-year deal. That's just shy of $1 billion.


    • ACS???
      Why.....why does City/State Govt. keep trusting these clowns(ACS), IBM...all these companies do is come in and overcharge for no work!!!
    • ACS? Cancelled?
      I don't know how much of this I believe. Some of the information in this article just isn't right.

      First of all it's not ACS anymore its Xerox/ACS with a capital XEROX.

      Second, the agreement with Xerox/ACS wasn't cancelled it was modified to no longer include IBM.

      How many other facts in this article are almost but not quite right?
    • Where's The Outrage 2
      Sorry for sending the unedited version. This one should read better and stop the hurting in your ears as you read it.

      Let me see if I have this straight. We want UAW-23 to do what's best for the city, but we can't enter into a deal with a local vendor. If we are being told the truth, then the 200 jobs, if needed would be needed regardless of who the vendor is, but if we use a local vendor, there would be a few white collar jobs to boot. How about this? The Water Company Deal is supposed to pump millions or billions into fixing the local streets, but that money won't be needed where there are parking meters because we will have millions per year to fix the streets around the parking meters, Boy, I want the job of figuring which pot the money comes from to fix a particular block of a particular street. Talk about the possibility for money to go missing into some grafters pocket, this should really make it easy. With all of these plans and money flowing, I can't wait to live in our new marvelous city with its smooth riding streets and sidewalks without crumbing curbs. It is looking more and more to me (who voted for the guy) that Mr. Ballard might become a one term Mayor. Oh, don't forget that Mr. Roob couldn't understand where the UAW-23 were coming from (because he had his head stuck in the sand on that one), but I bet he was wide awake on helping out on this one.

      This is too easy. I want to retire to a job writing political commentary for a newspaper or a TV station here in Indy.
    • Baloney

      No one came downtown in 1975 and economics 101 says raise price and suppress demand.

      Parking problems were the #1 reason people stayed in the suburbs were parking is FREE and convenient to shopping,restaurants,and business/work.

      Keep in mind we are talking about handing a 50 year monopoly all of the cities parking meters and large state & city parking facilities

      Thought all that money from selling the water company was going to give us road and sidewalks made of gold;)
    • parking safety
      When is the city going to require surveillance cameras in parking garages and metered areas where crime is rampant? I was in a Dennison parking garage on the main floor 15 spaces from the door (Methodist Hospital) when my vehicle was broken into and a $1,000 laptop stolen from it. I'm positive someone was watching me put it in because I was loading the car after my husband spent 3 days there as in-patient. There was less than a 15-minute span between the time I put the computer (in a sealed case) and a bag of books in the back seat on the floor of my tinted-window vehicle and when I returned -- which means someone SAW me put those things in there. When I got back the window was smashed out and the two bags were gone. First, security didn't even want to call police, but I insisted. And then I found out from Dennison that they have no security cameras ANYWHERE in ANY garage. Do you what that means? People could get raped and murdered -- including legislators and possibly even the governor -- in any of these parking garages and nobody would know where to start looking because they have no cameras. For pete's sake, they even have cameras in car washes these days -- and you don't have them in the state capitol's garages??? It's about time somebody did something about this.
    • Where's The Outrage
      Let me see if I have this straight. We want UAW-23 to do what's best for the city, but we can't enetr into a deal with a local vendor. If we are being told the truth, then the 200 jobs, if nweeded would be deeded regardless of whop the vendor is, but if we use a local vendor, there would be a few white collar jobs to boot. How about this? The Water Company Deal is supposed to pump millions or billions into fixing the local streets, but that money won't be eeded where there are parking meters because we will have millions per year to fix the streets around the parking meters, Boy, I want the job of figuring which pot the money comes from to fix a particular block of a particular street. Talk about the possibility for money to go missing into some graters pocket, this should really make it easwy. With all of these plans and money flowing, I can't wait to live in opur new marvelous city with its smooth riding streets and sidewalks without crumbing curbs. It is looking more and more to me (who voted for the guy) that Mr. Ballard might become a one term Mayor. Oh, don't forget that Mr. Roob couldn't understand where the UAW-23 were coming from (because he had his head stuck in the sand on that one), but I bet he was wide awake on helping out on this one.
    • leave nothing behind
      Why would giving away your streets for $35mm sound appealing? That's like selling your kidneys for cash. Very short-sighted and yields no benefits whatsoever.
      • More Business for Parking Garages!
        Rates are going up and meters hours are being extended. This is going to help economic development? The only way this can be defined as economic development is if you consider more money for government and ACS economic development. If the two hour limit is left in place, you will need to feed the meter at least twice during an evening out if you arrive at your parking spot before 6pm. Sounds like ACS is going to get into the parking lot-garage business too. The garages will soon raise rates during the evening downtown once this is put in place. Lunch parking won't be affected, but evening parking will move off the streets when this is put in place.
      • 50 years?
        A fifty year agreement? Really? What happens when we all start traveling by jet pack and monorail? Seriously, why are we entering an agreements that will impact and be in place for our children's children's children? Private/Public models that extend beyond 10 or 15 years are a concept that I have a hard time embracing.
      • Logic, people.
        Umm, Luke - it's always been a 2-hour limit, that's not new. I doubt it will affect things...the price increase might, but what other business hasn't raised its prices since 1975? Are you still making the same salary you were in 1975? Were you even working then?

        Meanwhile, if they cap property taxes like everyone insisted, they've got to get the funds somewhere...we all want roads, schools, etc...we just apparently balk at paying for it.

        Law of economics says it has to come from somewhere...no free lunch!
        • Follow the money
          Wonder what happens to this when ACS takes over.

          Colts, State Reach New Parking Agreement

        • Doesn't make sense
          I don't get how this will make any of these business's anymore money. People who go to Mass ave or broad ripple go no matter what. Now the people are being punished in places like Broad Ripple because they can't build a parking garage. Maybe at first the city will make money with meter fees, but after people's cars get towed or you gets tickets people will just find other places to park. If anything this will drive people away from the areas because you have to worry about paying the meter every 2 hours. I am curious to see how this will all take place. Parking meters are the last thing Ballard needs to worry about today.
        • Fair?
          Please note not everyone will see rate increases. The Pacers will pay the city a handsome price of $1 a year for the entire city parking garage next to Conseco

        • I'm fine with it
          If someone won't go downtown due to an increase in our already cheap parking rates, probably wouldn't go downtown even if it were free.
        • Where is Indianapolis Downtown Inc
          Great idea raise rates and extend paying periods on meters AND state/city parking garages.

          Who needs those pesky customers in Broad Ripple, Mass Avenue, or Indians baseball games?
        • It's no what you know, but who

          Mitch Roob's former employer that he hired to fix FSSA with IBM?

          Since when did they become parking experts?

        Post a comment to this story

        We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
        You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
        Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
        No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
        We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

        Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

        Sponsored by

        facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

        Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
        Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
        Subscribe to IBJ
        1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

        2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

        3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

        4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

        5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.