Monday, November 10, 2008

Railing Against the Parking Rate Hike

As you may know, parking lot rates will increase by $2 this coming Saturday. At the Grafton lot where I park (and it most suburban commuter lots), this will make the cost of parking $4 per day, as opposed to $2 per day.

The Boston Metro wrote extensively about the rate increase and commuter impact in today's edition. Especially in light of current economic conditions, even an extra $2 per day impacts riders.

Per the article, from the MBTA's perspective the economy is partially the reason rates are going up, T officials say. I wish they would just come out and say that they have to pay the union's back wages and this is the only way they can do it. All of us riders know that is the case, I'm not sure why the MBTA is hemming and hawing on that fact.

I thought this was telling as well (and hints at a possible fare increase), "Though ridership went up this year due to high gas prices, the T’s fuel costs have outpaced the extra revenue, and the agency said its financial woes “cannot be offset simply through internal cost cutting and existing revenues.”

I guess the one silver lining is that the MBTA is "looking into" cash alternatives for the fare boxes at suburban lots.

Some of the alternatives:
  • The T is looking to expand the use of FAST LANE transponders, which can now only be used at the Route 128 garage.
  • Implementing automated fare collection technology throughout the system so that all modes of transportation — as well as parking fees — can be paid with by a CharlieCard. The T hopes that plan option will be in place by 2011.

So, only three more years of stuffing dollar bills into the slots. Awesome.

Sadly, I guess it doesn't really matter how much we complain, the hike is going into effect.


Anonymous said...

What's not being noted is that parking fees in some of the town-owned lots are also going up. My town, Mansfield, is piggy-backing on the rate increase, even though it has no back wages to pay. I guess they just see it as another revenue stream.

Anonymous said...

I already stopped parking at the commuter rail lot, as of this morning. I know it's not an alternative for everyone, but I'm just not willing to pay them another $500 a year -- plus, this way I get to save the other $500 that I've been folding up and shoving into the metal box already.

Train Rider said...

Anonymous #1 -

Thanks for the update about the Mansfield lot ... I'd be interested to note if the town owned lots were forced to accept this mandate by the T?

Or if they decided to do it on their own? If they did, do they keep the revenue?

Actually, is it even possible to park at a town owned lot if you're not a resident?

Anonymous said...

I urge all riders to use DOLLAR COINS at all parking locations
They fit fine on the Worcester line and are available at all major banks !

at Westborough 650 spaces X 4 dollar coins =2600 coins a day
at 1 ounce they'd weigh 162.5 pounds a day other stations along the route would weigh in that range too.

you are encouraged to use mass transit the punished with an ever rising fee now $4.00 and no receipt to prove you have paid!


GET THOSE DOLLAR COINS no folding necessary!

Anonymous said...

Go one step further and use quarters instead. Same size and weight individually, but collectively, much greater. I'm sure there's some mechanical way to transfer the money from the boxes to the van/truck/car/whatever they use to transport the money back to the office so there wouldn't be much sweat and work on the collector's part. However, the substantially increased weight will decrease their gas mileage, increase their costs, and cut into their profit. Share the pain, I say. Sure, it takes more time to put in 16 quarters into a tiny slot, but are you going to silently and passively accept this like lamb or fight them tooth and nail every step of the way? It's unlikely that the new parking fee will be reduced even with government intervention so accept it and make them pay for every cent by cutting into their revenue stream with higher fuel costs. They see and talk numbers so show them the numbers.