City reports rise in parking meter profit, revenue

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Indianapolis estimates it earned about $1 million more from parking meters in 2012, with meter revenue almost doubling from the previous year, the Department of Public Works announced Thursday.

After costs, the city netted $2.5 million, up from $1.5 million in 2011 and $339,000 in 2010.

Revenue from meters rose to $5.3 million in 2012, up from $2.9 million in 2011 and $1.3 million in 2010.

Higher rates, longer hours and a switch to electronic pay boxes that accept credit cards drove the increase.

Meters started accepting credit cards in 2011, and card payments accounted for 60 percent of all the money collected in 2012.

Another 5 percent came through payments from smart phones.

The technological upgrades stemmed from a 50-year contract the city signed in November 2010 with Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services, forming the public-private partnership ParkIndy.

“These numbers provide further proof that Indianapolis’ parking meter modernization plan was a good move for the city and its citizens,” Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement. “Our city gains more revenue to fund much needed improvements and building projects in metered parking areas and motorists benefit from new technology that makes it easier to pay and easier to park in our city.”
ACS paid the city $20 million up front and promised between $363 million to $620 million in revenue by the end of the half-century agreement.

Hourly parking rates jumped from 75 cents to $1.50 in the busy areas of downtown and Broad Ripple and to $1 elsewhere in the city as a result of the contract.

Meter hours also were extended throughout the city to 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. when most of them previously ended at 6 p.m.


  • Meter Parking Easier
    I too use the avaiable IPHONE app and have found it easier to park and sometimes even less expensive since using the app...I can time my parking down to within 60 seconds, so there is practically NO overpaying. I am actually utilizing meter parking more now with the available automation. I do agree that regardless of party...Politicians don't manage money very well.
  • Only in Govt analysis
    Glenn: Where in these articles does it mention a revenue target for year 1, or for any particular discrete year for that matter? Trying to figure out how you know they missed their revenue target.
  • Analysis wrong
    Wilbur needs to understand the difference between revenue and profit. "ACS paid the city $20 million up front and promised between $363 million to $620 million in REVENUE by the end of the half-century agreement." Revenue in 2012 was $5.3 million (hey Mike, read closer next time). Revenue that ACS promised is different than the profit the city gets from that revenue. Contract was signed in late 2010, and this article covers only through end of 2012 (so basically just over 2 years). There would be slightly under 48 years of analysis left, and ~48 years at $5.3 million per year is roughly $254 million in REVENUE, far more than your $115 milliion conclusion. Far less than $363 million, but we're ignoring inflation here, possible additional meters, etc. Not defending the deal, but Wilbur's analysis is flawed.
  • Bad deal
    The big question is....What was the gross revenue generated by the meters?
  • Only in Government
    So let me get this straight, in year one they missed their revenue share target by over 1 million dollars. In year two the whittled that loss down to just over $600,000. How in the hell is that considered "a great deal"? Seems like the City is on the hook for covering any losses which is a truly stupid arrangement for taxpayers to be in.
    • Further Tea Party Crap
    • Seriously you are either really shallow or an ACS INVESTOR
      There was absolutely no need to lease the meters for 50 years for a measly $20 mill upfront that we gave $6 million to the Egyptian for his personal parking garage in Broad Ripple... And PART WITH 70% of GROSS REVENUES! They simply could have hired a private manager for a 4-5% management fee and leased the equipment!
    • Stop repasting the Mayors Press Releases and do some journalism
      Your article sucks. The city is going to get > $363 million over 50 years. So there is 46 years left @$2,500,000 a year which is $115,000,000. If so Mayor Ballard needs to hire legal council to break this grafter agreement.
      • Works for me
        I used the iPhone app to park downtown on the street at a meter. Quite convenient. Still much cheaper than parking in a garage.
      • Laughable to be
        Why do people think that our government should be running private enterprises? Your comments are inane to the fact that MUNICIPALITIES SHOULD NOT BE RUNNING PRIVATE ENTERPRISES. It never works. Governments cannot hire qualified people, heck, they can barely put together a qualified enough group to take bids from private businesses to monetize our services. If a mayor raises parking meter rates, then his next candidate gets to use that against him, ignoring the benefits, but playing the political game. If he does nothing, then they use that against him. This way, in 10 years, neither candidate can use it against the other and we still get the benefit of all that extra cash. Stop trying to turn our government into larger for-profit businesses.
        • Yep
          Presuming these numbers are actually accurate, see JP's comment. And how much higher would they also be if we didn't have to pay ACS when meters are off limits due to construction, special events, etc.?
          • laughable
            “These numbers provide further proof that Indianapolis’ parking meter modernization plan was a good move for the city and its citizens,” says Mayor. NO, it doesn't. I challenge our mayor to tell us what would the net profit be if we simply increased rates and expanded hours (without automatic payment improvements), and there is no way it would be lower than this. Not to mention the benefit of not having 50-year contract that might be in a way of future mass transit and development. So, stop insulting our intelligence.

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