CHICAGO - The Chicago City Council has approved a more than $1.1 billion deal to lease city parking meters to a private operator.

Mayor Richard Daley pushed for the deal passed yesterday as a way for the city to weather tough economic times.

But the 75-year lease means that hourly meter rates will climb.

In some neighborhoods, they will quadruple from 25 cents now to $1 next year.

Daytime downtown hourly parking rates that now are $3 will climb to $3.50 next year and to $6.50 in 2013.

After that, rates will be adjusted annually by inflation.

The meters are the latest asset the city is leasing to generate much-needed money.

The city has a pending $2.5 billion deal to lease Midway Airport and already has leased the Chicago Skyway and parking garages. *