Starts & Stops

Readers press for changes to commuter rail overnight parking policy

An MBTA parking lot in Abington, where overnight parking is not allowed.
An MBTA parking lot in Abington, where overnight parking is not allowed.Credit: George Rizer/Globe Staff)

Parking has, of late, been the controversial topic du jour. (Don’t get anyone started on minimum parking requirements in Charlestown!). But feelings are running just as high when it comes to overnight parking at commuter rail stations, which is allowed at some stations but not others.

Bruce A. Leicher, who parks at the Littleton/Route 495 Station on the Fitchburg/South Acton line, e-mailed with a complaint.

“For years we could park overnight,” Leicher wrote, but after the T took over management of the lot, “new signs now prohibit it, even though we pay for monthly spots.”

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“This means we can no longer use the T when we have overnight visits in Town or to go to Logan or Amtrak,” he continued. “This makes no sense after many years of successful overnight use.”

Rose Anne Concannon of Marshfield had the same concern.

“I can’t understand why the Greenbush commuter rail line forbids overnight parking,” she wrote. “The upper parking lot is mostly empty and it would be easy to segregate an area for extended parking. It would be very convenient for many people in the area who would like to travel to the airport, Amtrak, or the bus.”

But Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the T, said the agency’s policy on overnight running was not changing — for now.

Overnight parking is allowed at 17 MBTA facilities, including 10 commuter rail stations. Some of those stations charge an extra overnight rate, and the T enforces a seven-day maximum for overnight parking. He advised commuters who are planning on leaving for an overnight trip to drive a bit further to one of these lots.

Concannon said that’s exactly what she’s done in the past, but she worries that the added distance might deter others from using public transportation.

Still, there’s hope: “We are considering expanding overnight parking to other facilities,” Pesaturo said.

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