Priced parking can raise revenue, help achieve local goals

New transportation trends — including rising fuel efficiency, growing costs, and stagnant vehicle travel — pose challenges to funding the region’s transportation system. Federal and state revenues may not provide the support that they once did, and local governments may have to increasingly impose and rely on their own revenues. As a result, without additional revenues, the condition of the system will decline and the region will not be able to invest in enhancing the system.

Vehicles parked in a parking lot surrounded by greenery

ON TO 2050 emphasizes the importance of pursuing new and enhanced revenues sources and user fees to modernize and improve upon our existing funding structure. Local governments should capitalize on modern travel trends to generate additional revenue for local transportation infrastructure needs and achieve local planning goals. The following research builds upon ON TO 2050’s recommendation to expand priced parking to meet regional and local transportation needs. Priced parking — including variable pricing — can help manage demand for parking and generate revenue for municipalities to make local transportation improvements that support their broader goals.

This analysis is one of a series examining transportation funding in northeastern Illinois and explaining the revenue recommendations included in ON TO 2050. This analysis highlights opportunities for municipalities to expand the use of priced parking. Other parts of the series examine existing revenue sources for the regional transportation system, and explain recommendations including increasing the state motor fuel tax and eventually replacing it with a road usage charge, expanding the sales tax base, using tolling and value capture, and implementing a federal cost of freight service fee.