Performance Parking pilot
Our Performance Parking initiative aimed to set more parking spots aside for those trying to get to our busiest neighborhoods. We studied how the City can use flexible meter rates to reduce the amount of time it takes to find a parking space.
We tested two different pricing structures: one in the Back Bay, and the other in the Seaport.
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2017 pilot report
In 2017, we ran a year-long performance parking pilot program in the Back Bay and Seaport. From the pilot, we learned that we can improve the parking experience for residents and visitors through changes in the price of metered parking.
- In the Back Bay, there was an 11 percent increase in available metered spaces, and a 14 percent decrease in double parking.
- In the Seaport, there was a 1 percent increase in parking availability, and a substantial decrease in illegal parking.
- The performance parking pilot also increased parking availability for neighborhood residents. Illegal parking in a resident spot declined by 12 percent in the Back Bay and by 35 percent in the Seaport.
We will analyze the results of the pilot and determine the future of the program. As the results are reviewed, the City will keep the current meter prices in the Back Bay and Seaport.
Seaport: Flexible Meter Pricing
During the pilot period, we will put in place prices that vary by time of day and location. We will also change them every two months based on how often motorists use parking spots. We use the average percentage of spaces filled by drivers.
The meter prices may go up or down depending on how full the parking spaces are on certain blocks. The price will stabilize when the amount of drivers using spots reaches our occupancy target, which is about one space open per block. As of December 4, 2017, rates range from $1 to $4.
Seaport rate tablesSeaport rate tables
Seaport price breakdown
The goal is to charge the lowest possible hourly rate that leaves on average one space open per block. That’s our goal occupancy. What does this mean? For blocks where it’s difficult to find a parking space, rates increase until at least one space is available on each block most of the day. On blocks with many open parking spaces, the rate will decrease until empty spaces start to fill up, or we reach our floor rate of $1 per hour.SEAPORT TIME PERIODS
Because blocks have different levels of congestion at different times of day, we price spaces at:
- an 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. rate
- a 12 - 4 p.m. rate
- a 4 - 8 p.m. rate, and
- an all-day Saturday rate.
These rates will appear on the meters, in the ParkBoston mobile app, and on the map linked above.
Prices began at $1.50 an hour on January 3, 2017, and will adjust every two months accordingly:
- We add 50 cents for blocks with drivers using more than 80 percent of spots.
- We subtract 50 cents for blocks with drivers using less than 60 percent of spots.
There will be a minimum price of $1 and a maximum price of $4 per hour. We will use sensors to analyze parking patterns and determine how many drivers are using each block in the pilot area.Future Rate Adjustments
We will announce all Seaport rate adjustments at least seven days before they go into effect. We plan to make changes on the first Monday of the month in April, June, August, October, and December.
All rate adjustments will be posted on the map and table on this page. After a price change goes into effect, the rates will also appear on the meter and in the ParkBoston mobile app.
Back Bay: Increased Meter Pricing
During the pilot period in the Back Bay, there will be an increase in meter price to $3.75 an hour during all meter hours. We will also step up enforcement of double parking, meter time limits, and illegal parking in commercial spaces to increase the availability of parking.
The meter price change went into effect January 3, 2017.
Back Bay: Midyear updates
On June 22, we met with community members in the Back Bay to talk about what we had seen since the beginning of the pilot in January 2017. As part of this discussion, we presented data collected on parking usage throughout the area during the pilot. That data is available here in both presentation and tabular formats.
How Performance Parking works
Flexible meter rates have been shown to open up more parking spots in other cities who have used them. By raising meter rates in our most-congested areas, we can direct motorists to less busy streets to quickly find spots. We can also boost the use of public transportation and encourage motorists who intend to park for a long time to use off-street parking.
We have information on neighborhoods affected by Performance Parking below: