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How do parking meters work?

How do parking meters work?

You'll find meters throughout Boston. Here's what you need to know.

Most meters are active Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please make sure to check the hours of operation when you park.

You can only park for two hours, but some meters allow for more time. Please check the meter when you park.

Still have questions? Contact:
Parking Clerk
617-635-4410
1 City Hall Square
Room 224
Boston, MA 02201-2007
United States

Sundays and City holidays

On Sundays and City holidays, you can park for free, but all other parking regulations are still enforced. You can only park for free on the actual day the holiday occurs, not when the City recognizes the holiday.

So, if New Year's Day is on a Saturday but offices are closed on a Friday, the free parking at meters only happens on Saturday.

Paying for parking at a metered spot

Double check posted signs

Check the signs around the meter to make sure you can use the spot. To avoid getting a ticket, you must return to your car before the time expires on the meter.

Paying for metered spots

You will find options to pay meters with quarters, dollar bills, credit cards, and the ParkBoston appIf a ParkBoston decal is on the meter where you parked, you can use the app. 

Pay and Display

For Pay and Display meters, you must take the receipt from the meter and place it on the inside of your car's curbside window. 

Types of meters in Boston

IPS Single Space Meters
  • These meters are located throughout the City’s most popular shopping, business, and entertainment areas. This includes Faneuil Hall, the Financial District, Back Bay, and the South End.
  • All single space meters accept quarters, and debit or credit cards from MasterCard or Visa.
Parkeon Pay and Display Meters
  • These battery-operated meters are recharged by solar power and have instructions in both English and Spanish. Pay and Display meters accept quarters and credit or debit cards from Mastercard or Visa.
  • Please put the receipt on the inside of your car’s curbside window to show you’ve paid for the spot.