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Performance Parking pilot

Performance Parking pilot

Circle less and park easier in Boston's busiest neighborhoods.

Our Performance Parking initiative aims to set more parking spots aside for those trying to get to our busiest neighborhoods. We will study how the City can use flexible meter rates to reduce the amount of time it takes to find a parking space.

We will test two different pricing structures: one in the Back Bay, and the other in the Seaport.

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How Performance Parking works

Making parking easier

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. 

Performance Parking graphic on spaces

We have information on neighborhoods affected by Performance Parking below:

The Back Bay: Increased Meter Pricing

Back Bay pilot phase

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 map

Seaport: Flexible Meter Pricing

Seaport pilot phase

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 85 percent target, which is about one space open per block.

Seaport map

Seaport Price breakdown

Prices will begin at $1.50 an hour on January 3, 2017, and adjust every two months accordingly:

  • We add 50 cents for blocks with drivers using more than 90 percent of spots
  • We subtract 50 cents for blocks with drivers using less than 70 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.

Seaport Time periods

The price will vary by four time periods:

  • weekdays from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • weekdays from 12 - 5 p.m.
  • weekdays from 5 - 8 p.m., and
  • all day Saturday.

We will post the price schedule for these time periods for the coming month on the City’s website at least a week before any change. Prices will always appear on the meter and in the ParkBoston App.