The City of Chicago Department of Finance is charged with the enforcement and collection of revenues, including parking fines. The department issues approximately 1.3 million parking citations annually and administers several programs to benefit disadvantaged motorists.

Still, administering the curb is not easy. City parking managers lacked data and made assumptions about when and where to enforce. Despite best intentions, the allocation of enforcement may have perpetuated the inequitable distribution of citations by “overworking” certain neighborhoods, including issuing disproportionately higher fines in some disadvantaged communities.

“Trellint brings insights to help us improve how we operate, making enforcement fairer. There’s more work to be done, but the success to date is really promising.”

Charles Billows II Deputy Director Department of Finance City of Chicago


Trellint partnered with the City of Chicago to provide parking enforcement solutions to improve the accuracy and efficiency of parking enforcement while working to make parking enforcement fairer:

  • Our data teams mapped the likelihood of infractions by hour and by day using regulatory data, street cleaning schedules, meter use, and 911 and 311 parking complaints.
  • Size and shape of enforcement zones were reexamined based on these citation probabilities and road miles. We weighted the citation probabilities to focus on the most egregious violations — those impacting health, safety, and congestion.
  • Trellint data scientists applied clustering algorithms with longitudinal and latitudinal preferences to shape enforcement assignments, basing the size of the zones on the likelihood of citations and ease of use.
  • City officials were provided with recommendations on enforcement schedules, prioritizing the zones most in need of enforcement, including neighborhoods with parking meters and rush hour restrictions.
As a result of Trellint’s enforcement allocation strategy, both the share of parking tickets and their average fine amounts have declined in disadvantaged neighborhoods, helping to dismantle the systemic barrier of debt that hurts progression in those communities.


Since the implementation of Trellint solutions, fines in the most disadvantaged communities in the city have declined, shrinking the gap compared with wealthier neighborhoods.

  • Reduced the share of tickets issued in disadvantaged communities from 18.9% in 2020 to 17.7% in 2022, including a reduction in the share of city vehicle licensing violations from 23.5% to 18.2%
  • Reduced the share of tickets issued in majority Black and Hispanic communities from 15.3% in 2020 to 13.9% in 2022
  • Reduced the gap between the average fine amounts in disadvantaged communities and wealthy neighborhoods from $4.66 in 2020 to $1.24 in 2022
  • Empowered parking enforcement by putting data at their fingertips, including maps highlighting the probability of finding illegal parkers creating congestion or dangerous conditions