Boston Will Experiment With Parking Meters

City has had some of the lowest fees in the U.S.

Boston's Back Bay (Photo by Nick S. via Flickr)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

In a bid to reduce congestion and move people through downtown more quickly, Boston is experimenting with changing prices on some parking in the city, the Boston Business Journal reports. Parking meter prices in Boston were last raised in 2011, and remain much lower than in other major cities at just $1.25 per hour. Starting January 3, 2017, the city will adjust meter rates in the Back Bay and Seaport neighborhoods.

“Boston is focused on reducing crashes and providing safe, livable streets for all pedestrians, cyclists and drivers,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “This parking pilot will help us manage parking spots more efficiently, reducing congestion, gridlock and distracted behavior by drivers.”

Los Angeles, San Francisco and Indianapolis are among the handful of cities that have tried variable pricing for parking. After a trial for the last few years, San Francisco intends to roll out demand-influenced parking meter fees citywide in 2017.

Boston will test two different models.

In Back Bay, meter prices at about 1,650 spaces will be raised to $3.75 an hour. The city will study parking patterns on each block to see how occupancy changes with the price increase.

In the Seaport area, meter prices will be adjusted up — or down, depending on usage — in two-month intervals.

At the conclusion, a portion of any revenue increases will be reinvested locally.

Editor’s Note: The headline and details in the article about the pricing pilot for the Seaport area have been changed. The previous version indicated the prices would be changing more frequently than they will be.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at

Follow Jen .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: bostonparking

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 953 other sustainers such as:

  • Gloria in Pasadena, CA at $10/Month
  • Rose at $30/Year
  • Desi at $10/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Solutions of the year 2022

    Donate $20 or $5/Month

    2022-2023 Solutions of the Year magazine

  • Brave New Home

    Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind