Feb 29, 2016
A decade ago, Mayor Daley and the Chicago City Council turned the Skyway over to a 99-year lease with a big company, Cintra-Macquarie, in exchange for 1.8 billion dollars cash. The Skyway is a long bridge over the industrial area of South Chicago that lets traffic move quickly.
The Skyway was completely paid for by the taxpayers decades ago. Yet its privatization benefits only big corporations.
In 10 years, Cintra-Macquarie will have increased tolls by 250% – from $2 in 2007 to $5 in 2017. This toll revenue has been extremely profitable. So profitable that Cintra-Macquarie can sell the remaining part of the lease to another investor for the original 1.8 billion dollar price plus another billion dollars.
This comes at a time when the city of Chicago says it has a 426 million dollar deficit and the Board of Education a deficit of 480 million dollars. They are using this as an excuse to lay off and reduce services.
The billion dollars being made off public property would totally cover these deficits and still have 94 million dollars left over for other purposes.
The Skyway privatization is only one of several the city of Chicago has carried out. The money to cover all government deficits and more is in the hands of these profiteers at the public’s expense.