Boston is bracing for a major parking meter overhaul

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At this time, there is no planned increase in parking rates alongside these changes.

Parking is about to get a makeover in Boston. 

Over the next two years, the city of Boston has plans to replace a large portion of its parking meters, according to WGBH. These parking meters, which serve one or two spots at a time, will be replaced by kiosks that will serve multiple spaces. 

“Most of these meters are at or near the end of their useful life, so that’s why we’re taking on this process now. Our schedule is to begin sometime, hopefully, in late 2024 … This will be a phased project, running probably through 2026,” Nick Gove, Boston’s transportation department commissioner, told the news outlet.

Not only will most of the existing 5,600 parking meters be replaced with kiosks offering multiple payment options, but even those that remain, said to be 1,000 or fewer, will have new meter heads, according to WGBH. 

When the process is repeated, there will be 500 to 700 parking kiosks in the city, a sharp increase from the current 160 around Boston, according to WGBH. 

These parking meters will also accept tap-to-pay and pay-by-text, which current meters do not accept. 

Credit card payments and the city of Boston’s parking app account for 90% of parking revenue, compared to the remaining sliver made up of coin-based payments, according to officials.

“Customer point-of-sale preferences have continued to evolve over the last decade — really, the last half decade,” Gove told WGBH.

Without these replacements, according to Gove, parking revenue would be impacted by non-functioning parking meters.

At this time, there is no planned increase in parking rates alongside these changes. According to Gove, however, the city does plan to reevaluate its regulations later this year.

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