NYC considers privatizing 80,800 parking meters

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NEW YORK - New York City is considering privatizing its parking meters and is seeking statements from interested companies that can put up at least $100 million in cash or credit as collateral.

The Department of Transportation on Monday formally requested Statements of Qualification from companies interested in operating the meters regulating the city's 80,800 on-street parking spaces. Statements are due July 31.

Under any agreement the city would keep control of meter rates and enforcement of violations, said Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office.

"We're seeking private-sector expertise on innovative ways to enhance the efficiency and quality of parking services provided by the city," Wood said in a statement. "At the same time, we are taking a careful and deliberate approach to avoid mistakes others have made."

To be considered, companies will have to have experience running at least 20,000 on-street parking spaces and at least 100,000 spaces overall. They must be able to put up $100 million in collateral — enough money to guarantee a year's revenue.

Based on the responses, the city will decide whether to move forward with the project, which has been under consideration for some time. Last July, officials selected a financial adviser for the project

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