TARGET 11 INVESTIGATION: Peduto may eliminate special parking passes costing city $1M

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PITTSBURGH - Nearly 300 city of Pittsburgh employees have a special pass that allows them to park at any meter without paying.

Target 11 investigator Rick Earle has learned that Mayor Bill Peduto plans to eliminate many of those passes.

Target 11 first exposed these parking passes about five years ago, and on Wednesday, Earle found out the new administration says the perk is costing the city more than $1 million.

“The allegations I’ve heard is they were just handed out like candy,” said Kevin Acklin, Peduto’s chief of staff.

The practice of parking at any meter for free began more than a decade ago, and started with only 30 passes.

“It’s completely been abused, and it’s something that Mayor Peduto wants to correct,” Acklin said. “It’s offensive to a city that is making a recovery from financial receivership.”

City Council member Theresa Kail-Smith has one of the passes, but said she rarely uses it.

“I agree that there are too many,” Kail-Smith said.

Kail-Smith said she believes the passes should be closely monitored, and employees should be required to sign them out.

“If they were on an as-needed basis and signed out, they may be more effective and more cost-effective for city residents,” Kail-Smith.