Raise fees on some parking spaces

RE “MENINO proposes parking locator” (Metro, April 10):

Mayor Menino is proposing a new parking spot locator app to help drivers find available parking spots. This approach may fail unless modified.

The difficulty is that there are usually many drivers who are looking for parking spots at any time. Available parking spots may be taken before the drivers with the app can get there. One way around this difficulty is to have 10 percent or more of parking spots in Boston be premium parking spots.


These spots, which should be made easily identifiable, would cost much more than other street parking spots, perhaps twice as much. Their meters would accept credit card charges. The parking locator app should also identify which of the available spots are premium parking spots.

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Because the premium spots would cost more, these spots would be more likely to stay available for a couple of minutes, permitting a driver with the app to get to them. The app would be very useful for drivers who are willing to pay more for parking rather than keep circling. The premium rates would generate more revenue for the city while also easing congestion.

James Orlin

Professor of operators
MIT Sloan School