‘T’-Minus 5 Days to Parking Hikes

Posted by John on November 10, 2008
Alewife Parking Garage (photo from MBTA.com)

Alewife Parking Garage (photo from MBTA.com)

Today marks the last work week before parking prices at all MBTA stations increase by $2 per day.  That’s cash of course, and good luck getting a receipt.  Naturally, the transit authority doesn’t seem to think the change warrants any rider complaints, arguing to the Globe that compared to downtown parking, it’s still a bargain.

Now, far be it for management to consider that this difference in price might be the key reason that riders use the lots in the first place, but frankly that $2 hike has effectively swallowed the cost of a T-ride into the city.  Also, if the Alewife lot was $30/day, I certainly wouldn’t have friends visiting from out of town parking on the outskirts.  Needless to say, it’s not the most convincing soundbyte.

We get it, guys: the T is out of money and looking for additional revenue, but $2 is a powerful number in Boston when it comes to driving.  That extra $2 is 2-hours at a parking meter, it’s a toll on the inner portion of I-90, and with the $5 not spent on MBTA owned lots, it’s an hour of parking downtown in a garage.  In fact, $7 is enough for 7 hours of parking at a metered space, so why use the lot at all?

People patronize and support public transportation efforts in their daily lives because it is inexpensive, efficient, and convenient.  We already suffer from issues with efficiency and convenience.  The price hike with Charlie was at least coupled with an improvement in technology– do we really have to make it this much more frustrating for the people who make an effort to limit in-city car useage by leaving their vehicles in a lot and taking the T instead?

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