Chicago on Monday announced that 10 domestic and international teams are interested in participating in the upcoming bidding on the right to operate the city’s metered parking system for an up-front payment.

The city launched a request for qualifications process last month.

“The strong response to our RFQ will greatly enhance the competitive process as we move forward,” chief financial officer Paul Volpe said in a statement. “Our goal will be to maximize the up-front payment due as part of the agreement, while promoting the implementation of innovative parking meter technology and enhancing customer service.”

After reviewing the qualifications statements, officials and their financial advisers will identify qualified bidders who will then be allowed to conduct due diligence on the metered parking system ahead of a bidding process. Chicago would enter into a concession of at least 50 years if the bids meet a minimum threshold.

The teams include Abertis Infraestructuras SA/Saba Aparcamientos SA; ACS State and Local Solutions Inc./Lehman Brothers; Chicago MP: 2058 (Kenny Project Services/Impark/Plainfield Asset Management); Chicago OnStreet Alliance (Macquarie Capital Group Limited/Serco Inc./Duncan Solutions Ltd.); Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte SA (Cintra) and Cintra Aparcamientos/Dornier SA (Cintra Parking); CPS Chicago Parking LLC (CPS Parking); JPMorgan IIF Acquisitions LLC; Mad Park-Chicago Ltd.; Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners; and Worldwide Parking Inc./Pay-Ease.

Chicago’s parking system generated total operating revenue of $21.9 million in 2006 and $22.9 million last year. After paying operating expenses, the system generated $16.6 million of income in 2006 and $18.9 million last year.

The city launched the nationwide trend of establishing public-private partnerships involving existing assets with its groundbreaking 99-year lease of the Chicago Skyway toll bridge to a private consortium in 2005 for $1.82 billion. It followed up that deal with another 99-year lease of four downtown parking garages to a private operator for $563 million in 2006.

Chicago has prequalified seven teams to participate in a due diligence process to eventually bid on a lease-concession contract to operate three recycling and waste centers, and officials continue to work out the more complex details of a concession deal involving the operations of Midway Airport.

Mayor Richard Daley has promoted the various privatization deals in the works as measures that would ease the burden of a struggling economy on taxpayers.

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