Privatizing Pittsburgh Parking

The Post-Gazette reports the highest bid for a lease of Pittsburgh’s public parking garages came in at $452 million, well above what was expected.

While the city of Pittsburgh needs to do far more to resolve its fiscal crisis — such as reform its pension system for public employees — privatizing parking is a good step in the right direction.

Pittsburgh’s experience could serve as a lesson to other cities, including Harrisburg, which sits on the verge of bankruptcy.

Indeed, while Pennsylvania cities have established “special district governments” — like the Harrisburg Parking Authority or the Philadelphia Parking Authority — to operate parking facilities, it is rare in the rest of the nation. In fact, 95.9% of special district government revenues from parking facilities in the U.S. are from Pennsylvania.