Metro

Parking prices will go up at 32 T stations, to as high as $10 a day — but drop at others

The T will be raising prices at overused lots with high demand for parking and lowering them at underutilized locations.
Jim Davis/Globe Staff/File 2015
The T will raise prices at overused lots with high demand for parking and lower them at underused locations.

MBTA riders avoided a fare increase this year, but some will be paying more to park at train stations.

The governing board at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority voted Monday to raise per-day parking rates at 32 lots and garages, starting Aug. 1. Rates will decline at 21 stations, however, and hold steady at 46 others.

The board also voted to charge lower rates on weekends, making the prices less expensive than the weekday rates at nearly every station.

Advertisement

The Red Line lots at Alewife, Braintree, and Quincy Adams will charge the highest rates, with $7 fees rising to $10. Weekend parking there will cost $3.

Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:
The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

At Chestnut Hill Station on the Green Line and Wellington Station on the Orange Line, $6 weekday rates will increase to $9. But at the Haverhill commuter rail lot, for example, the $4 rate will fall to $2.

Evan Rowe, the MBTA’s director of revenue, said the rate adjustments are the first in more than 10 years. The goal is to tailor prices to demand, drawing more drivers to lower-priced stations while capitalizing on busy lots at other stations.

“You have too little demand and too much demand,” he said. “We have underutilized facilities where thousands of spaces sit empty on a typical weekday or on a weekend. But at overused facilities, commuters have to arrive at 7:30 in the morning or earlier to get a parking spot.”

Under the new system, riders will have to pay an additional $2 during special events, such as sports events or concerts. The extra charge will apply only after normal commuting hours, Rowe said. Events and locations will be posted in advance, he said.

Advertisement

The MBTA had signaled for months that it planned to raise prices, even factoring additional parking revenue into its budget. The policy will generate an additional $8.5 million in the new fiscal year, Rowe said.

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack recommended a more modest increase, especially at Red Line stations, where rush-hour breakdowns are common.

She expressed concern that a large increase could lead some riders to abandon the trains altogether.

“Especially because some of the MBTA’s performance issues remain a problem . . . I’m more comfortable” with a lower rate, Pollack said.

But board members decided to move forward with the larger increase, saying they will review any unintended consequences after three months.

Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.