New Daily Parking Program Means Goodbye to Stickers and Hang Tags for Many on Charles River Campus
License-plate readers and automatic credit card charges will simplify entrance and exit
BU faculty, staff, and commuter students on the Charles River Campus can say goodbye to the familiar green BU parking stickers and hang tags—if they choose.
The new program offers more flexibility for those individuals who are coming to campus less often these days because they are working at home more. And it has the added pandemic-era benefit of being entirely contact-free.
“The timing is largely coincidental, but the new system certainly does move us in the right direction of providing a virtual platform to limit contact with staff and devices during the pandemic,” says Billy Hajjar, director of Parking & Transportation Services.
The transition from physical to virtual parking permits has been part of the University’s Transportation Demand Management planning for several years, Hajjar says. The objective is to provide a more flexible and efficient user experience and improve consistency of access control at BU parking facilities. It also allows Parking & Transportation Services to update an aging legacy system that relied largely on manual business processes.
Under the new Daily Parking Program, payment is automatic via a credit card on file, and you will be charged only for the days you park. Employees pay $8 a day and students $12 a day.
Employees who want to use the new program should sign up here before Monday, August 10.
Unlike with the Green Permits, those who commute by bus, trolley, or train most of the time, but drive once in a while can sign up for the new program and still take advantage of the 50 percent University-subsidized monthly MBTA passes and the University match for pretax dollars set aside for parking at transit stations.
Employees will still be able to pay by the month to use a Green Parking Permit, Carpool Permit, or Motorcycle Permit. The new program, which charges them only when they actually enter a lot, replaces the Red (Pay-on-Entry) Permits for faculty and staff.
The $8-a-day charge under the new program works out to roughly the same daily fee as someone who pays $160 a month for the Green Parking Permit and uses it five days a week for four weeks.
However, the Green Permit does have a couple of advantages—it’s paid for with pretax dollars through the payroll system, and it also allows access to nongated parking areas and alley spots around campus. Permits must also still be used for parking on the Fenway Campus. The Medical Campus is not part of these changes.
The new program also replaces the Black (Pay-on-Entry) Permits for commuter students, who can find more details here. A letter to students about their options will go out as early as Wednesday, August 5. Overnight parking on campus is not affected by the new program.
The facilities available through the Daily Parking Program are the Agganis Arena Garage and lot, the Langsam Garage, the Essex Street Garage and lot, the CAS lot at the end of Bay State Road, the Warren Towers Garage, and the Rafik B. Hariri Building Garage.
The short video above outlines how the program works. For those who want more information, Parking & Transportation Services is holding BU’s New Parking System: an Introduction for Faculty and Staff on Zoom this Thursday, August 6, at 10 am. The event will provide plenty of time for questions. Register here.
If for some reason the new system can’t read your license plate, BU IDs issued after 2012 can be tapped on the parking kiosk to gain entry to the garage or lot. But if your ID is older, it must be replaced to use it that way.
Tapping your BU ID on the kiosk is also how you can access parking when you’re driving a different car than usual, since only one license plate can be registered under the new Daily Parking Program.
For other problems getting in or out of a parking facility, press the “assistance” button on the kiosk and someone will get you on your way.
Existing Green, Off-Peak Green, Yellow, Brown, or White Permits will still be active as long as the license plate information already in the system is correct. The new system may not allow you to park, though, if that information is incorrect or out-of-date. Email Parking & Transportation Services if there are changes to your vehicle information.