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Parking in Boston now costs more than the car itself

Media reports have the cost of a parking space now exceeding 300K. Part one of a two part series about parking in the Hub.


Boston’s relationship with the caa has always been tumultuous. It is also very expensive. Boston is one of the many cities in North America that was pretty much built out before there were cars. That partly explains the left exits off some expressways and the crazy mish-mash of one ways and dead ends, which are now called “Not a Thru Way” because nobody wants to live on a dead end. Although Boston has a working class reputation the truth is a little different. Boston, like most major cities is really a collection of neighborhoods. In part one of our series we will look today at what it costs to park in the city center.

The Boston Herald reported today that the list of expensive parking spaces is topped by the Brimmer St. Garage. Here people have recently paid $300,000.00 for a parking spot. Some found spots in the same garage for as low as $250,000.00. That is a relative bargain if you think about it. However, perhaps those low cost spots were shmooshed up next to a steam pipe on one side, or were “Compact Car Only” as many Boston parking spots are so restricted. These parking spots cost as much per square foot as some of the priciest real estate in Boston, which means it is some of the priciest real estate in the country.

Don’t forget that the cost covers only your purchase and ownership of said spot. Many people assume that ends it and the spot is now paid for. Not. Don’t forget that as real estate, this parking spot will now help youngsters go to school, roads get paved, help welfare recipients get their stipend, and do its part to support the rest of the Commonwealth’s many social programs. That’s right, property taxes. Also, if you think that the spot doesn’t get hit with a home owners association levy, guess again. Many spots have a monthly fee of upwards of $300.00 per month. You buy the space, pay to own it, and then you pay a few hundred per month for valet, HOA and other fees.

If you think the owners of these spots only pay for parking in one location you may also be wrong about that. The real money in Boston is in the Financial District. This is where the folks who earn multiple millions per year (some hundreds of millions) work. Their W-2s put the local athletes to shame and make Ben Affleck look like a slacker. In and around State Street, Federal Street, and the Post Office Square area, the people who manage your IRA park during the day. Some live in Boston. Parking for the day in the financial services buildings in Boston presently runs about $37.00 per day. Of course discounts are available for monthly pass holders. If you want to join in this fun you should budget about $7,000.00 per year.

Boston parking is expensive, but the people who are paying these outlandish costs choose to do so. In the conclusion of this story we will look at some of Boston’s residents that don’t have any choice, and see how they manage.

Video and photo courtesy of WBZ News and


Bob (not verified)    August 11, 2012 - 10:45AM

I work in Cambridge, same thing. Company provides a parking pass for a garage, cost is between $250-300. Not really sure, I don't get the bill. Daily rate is $30.

Previous work in the financial center in Boston was more, a few years ago.
I think one could find a spot for more than the $37 mentioned.

My commuter car is a smaller Nissan, payments ARE lower than parking fees.

The reason, I believe, that so many people drive is that 'public transportation' is not accessible to many, and expensive to use. My town has no public trans. To go to the next town, pay to park in a lot and catch a train x2, hope the trains are on time, cost is almost as much as parking garages.

Mass citizens are already subsidizing the 'public trans' system. 20% of the sales tax collected go directly to the MBTA. Don't have numbers in front of me, but, the rates just went up last month by almost 25%. And they still are not breaking even.

We as citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts don't have many choices.

Bad and worse are two of them.