The cost of street parking in Boston is going up for the first time since the mid-1980s, as the city looks to offset looming federal and state aid cuts.
A total of 7,221 single space meters are operational on Boston’s streets and the 107 multi-space meters in operation accept payments for an additional 820 parking spaces. Weather permitting, BTD crews will begin on Saturday, January 8 retrofitting all parking meters to allow for the rate adjustment. Prior to the end of January, this work is expected to be completed on all parking meters in the City. The parking meter fee will increase from $1 per hour to $1.25 per hour, so that drivers will now purchase 12 minutes of on-street parking time for a quarter rather than 15 minutes.
At $1.25 per hour, Boston’s parking meter fees are still bargain priced compared with many other large U.S. cities. For instance, in Philadelphia, parking meter rates are as high as $2 per hour, in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., rates are as high as $3 per hour, and in Los Angeles, the fee is as high as $4 per hour. Boston’s parking meter fees have not changed since the mid 1980’s when all of the old nickel and dime meters were removed from city streets. At that time it cost $2.75 for a single movie tickets compared with $11.50 now, $1.09 for a gallon of gas compared with over $3.00 now, and $0.22 for a U.S. Postal Stamp vs. the $0.44 that one currently costs