It appears Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan for "surge pricing" at parking meters around Wrigley Field could potentially expand to other parts of Chicago.
The new parking rates around the Cubs' iconic ballpark take effect early next month, doubling the price from $2 per hour to $4 per hour during special events like a baseball game or concert.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a top aide to Emanuel told aldermen Thursday the city could eventually bring the program to other parts of Chicago where popular events are taking place.
As of Friday, Ald. Tom Tunney said signs announcing the surge pricing in Wrigleyville will go up for the Cubs' home opener in an area bounded by the north side of Irving Park Road, the west side of Southport, the south side of Belmont and the east side of Broadway.
The new rate will begin two hours before a game, concert or special event at Wrigley, and extend for seven hours.
The program is expected to generate roughly $2.4 million. That money would be used to off-set the annual payment to Chicago Parking Meters LLC for meters taken out of service for construction and special events, or used by people with disabilities. The last annual payment for those so-called “true-up” costs amounted to $12 million.
Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown has noted that $4-an-hour is “still a bargain if you can find a spot . . . And we’re gonna test it to see if there’s a positive impact on the neighbors and business owners. If it is a successful pilot, we will consider doing it in other key areas, like around Soldier Field and the United Center.”