CHICAGO (AP) — The private company operating Chicago’s parking meters is being sued in federal court, alleging its exclusive contract with the city is an illegal monopoly. The lawsuit against Chicago Parking Meters seeks class-action status on behalf of drivers who have fed the machines lining the city’s streets. The lawsuit alleges the 75-year-old agreement has led to higher parking rates and too many meters and restrictions on alternative transportation such as bicycles and ride-sharing. The lawsuit notes that before the deal brokered in 2009 by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago was collecting about $24 million a year from parking meters. Since then, Chicago Parking Meters has received more than $138.7 million in annual parking meter revenue. Chicago Parking Meters declined comment.
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