The parking industry in Chicago is speaking out against a budget proposal to charge drivers more to park in public garages and lots in downtown.
A proposal under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2012 budget would require drivers who park in garages and lots in the central business district to pay a "congestion" fee, meaning an additional $2 during the week.
The mayor hopes the plan will encourage people to use public transit and reduce traffic in the downtown area. But members of the Parking Industry Labor Management Committee say it's too much to ask in a struggling economy.
“Individuals who don't really have an option of taking public transportation, they're going to be saddled with this tax," said Jim Doria, market officer for Interpark. "They have no other choice but to park and it's going to be a higher cost for them."
The group will distribute fliers to drivers who park in their facilities and ask people who live in the city to contact their alderman to express dissatisfaction with the proposed fee.
People who own private parking spaces in downtown condominiums and other buildings will not be affected by the fee, according to city officials.