Parking and Transportation Office

The MIT Parking and Transportation Office (PTO) is responsible for the following operations:

The Operations Manager of Parking and Transportation provides day-to-day management of the department, while Standard Parking employs the remainder of the staff. There are presently 30 full-time equivalent employees working under the auspices of Parking and Transportation.

The PTO is committed to providing excellent customer service to both internal and external customers. PTO also provides effective planning to ensure the maximum usage of all parking facilities, consideration for facility placement, construction, and repairs.

Guiding Themes

The PTO is committed to provide excellent customer service. In order to serve our customers more effectively we use many different methods of communication. We hold an annual parking coordinators luncheon, which brings together at least one employee from every department on campus to discuss parking allocations and other issues. We maintain a web site and an email list to quickly provide messages concerning parking and transportation impacts to the community. We periodically hold a Transportation Fair to provide information on alternative commuting strategies and bicycle tips. We partner with the Charles River Transportation Management Association (CRTMA) to provide EZRide shuttle service and the Emergency Ride Home program to the MIT community. We also adopted the new MIT letterforms on our vehicles, stationery, and parking attendant uniforms.

Our vision is to move the many manual PTO processes to web-based applications by transforming our Parking and Transportation web site to a Commuter Services web site. A software application that allows departments to purchase visitor parking passes on the web was rolled out in July. We recently implemented a web-based parking registration system, which allows students, faculty, staff and affiliates to enroll online at anytime from anywhere. We will soon roll out SHUTTLETRACK, a GPS-based system that tracks the locations of both TECH Shuttle and Saferide vehicles. We also plan to start a Discovery Project to look at the feasibility of providing subsidized MBTA pass applications on the web.

Collaboration was another goal of the PTO this year. Efforts were made with Campus Police to develop and implement a successful abandoned bicycle removal program and a new service agreement. We worked with both Campus Police and the State Police to facilitate an auto glass etching program. During the holiday season, the PTO collaborated with Campus Police to run a Toys for Tickets program, which resulted in several cartons of toys donated to the Cambridge community and the Parking Office receiving the Salvation Army Christmas Service Award. We received the Commuter Choice Leadership Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Transportation for our efforts to provide many options to MIT commuters.

Service agreements with the Department of Facilities, Information Systems, Campus Police, and Standard Parking are in place. A service level agreement for vehicle maintenance is currently being finalized with the Grounds Department. The service level agreements provide a high degree of accountability to all parties. These documents assign responsibilities for enforcement, facility cleaning, maintenance, computing support, all aspects of parking and transportation, and motor vehicle maintenance.

By adhering to our four guiding themes, we provide a valuable and well-positioned department to the Institute. The PTO will continue to investigate new technological and business process models to continually improve our processes and services in a cost efficient and productive manner.

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Parking Permit Allocation, Issuance, and Management

MIT is required by the Federal Clean Air Act of 1973 to provide parking to no more than 36 percent of the MIT commuting population. Due to this restriction, parking permits are not available to all who would like to have one. The total annual number of available parking permits is determined via an allocation system by the Parking Office each July. These allocations are distributed to each department for assignment. The local assignment of allocations provides a more flexible distribution system that accounts for special circumstances within that department.

There are currently 6,236 members of the MIT community with parking privileges, accounting for 8,600 stickers. There are 15 different parking permit types; 12 for employees and three for students. Parking allocations are calculated annually and take effect around September 15 of each year. All parking permits are valid from September 1 through September 15 of the following year. This means that the Parking Office issues more than 7,000 parking stickers between August 15 and September 15 annually.

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Parking Facility Management

MIT currently has four parking garages and 23 open parking lots. The parking garages are the Albany Garage, the West Garage, the Hayward Garage, and the Stata Garage. The new Stata parking garage, which opened on June 2, 2003, has 676 underground parking spaces. All of the facilities have maintenance needs, including capital repair projects. The PTO coordinates these projects while maintaining a level of service needed to serve the Institute.

The allocation process distributes parking permits throughout all of our parking spaces on campus. For this reason, the intensity of use of each location is predetermined. In most parking locations, each space is over-allocated by a factor of .1 to .5 depending on intensity of use. The PTO also must accommodate the Institute's visitors and the occasional parking users using the same spaces. Due to the uncertainty of how many visitors and occasional users will come in each day, the lots will fill up from time to time. Overall, this approach has provided the maximum use of space possible, with minimal inconvenience to our customers.

This year we lost the Albany Street Parking Lot and portions of the Northeast lots to the construction of the brain and cognitive sciences project. In total, more than 600 parking spaces have been taken out of service for construction needs.

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Parking Violation Issuance and Management

The Campus Police as well as the PTO issue MIT motor vehicle violations on campus. There are 13 different motor vehicle violations:

Violation Type 12 Mos. Issued Fee
Parking Over Time Limit for Zone 887 $20
No Permit for this Area 7,683 $20
Parking in Area Not Marked for Parking 702 $20
Blocking Roadway, Driveway, Entrance or Crosswalk 208 $30
Parking in a No Parking Zone 915 $30
Parking or Driving on Sidewalk or Lawn 274 $30
Blocking Fire Lane or Hydrant 94 $40
Parking In Reserved Space 129 $40
Blocking Loading Zone or Dumpster 121 $50
Parking in Area Reserved for Handicapped 104 $50
Blocking Wheelchair Ramp 26 $50
Driving to Endanger 3 $50
Speeding 4 $50

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Subsidized MBTA Pass Program

This year MIT increased the subsidy for MBTA passes for employees and students. Previously the subsidy was $10 per pass. The new subsidy is now 50 percent of cost for over 90 percent of participants. The subsidy for a Bus pass is 62.5percent, for Subway, Combo, Combo+, Zone 1 and Zone 2 the subsidy is 50 percent, and for Zone 3 and above the subsidy is 50 percent of the face value of a Zone 2 pass.

MIT also has relaxed the eligibility requirements for this program. We now allow residential students to participate in the subsidized program. Enrollment is now more than 5,000 almost evenly split between students and employees.

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Saferide Shuttle Program

The Saferide Shuttle Program operates from 6 pm to 3 am, Sunday through Wednesday and from 6 pm to 4 am, Thursday through Saturday. We currently use four passenger vans and three mini-buses. One van and two mini-buses are handicap accessible, and a fourth handicap accessible mini-bus is on order.

The vehicles operate on fixed routes each day of the year. There are two routes that serve Boston (East and West) and two routes that serve Cambridge (East and West). Additional vehicles are put into service during heavy demand or when one of the other vehicles is out for service.

All members of the MIT community are eligible to use the Saferide service. However, the vast majority of passengers are students going to and from their living quarters. The service times and routes are determined by the location of student residence houses.

Use of Saferide has significantly increased in the past few years. A decision was made to upgrade the service using mini-buses to accommodate the increased demand. The Saferide shuttles currently serve more than 200,000 riders per year. This winter we will introduce a Saferide daytime Boston shuttle to service the students who live across the bridge in Boston.

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TECH Shuttle

The TECH Shuttle was designed to provide daytime transportation to all members of the MIT community. The route operates in a loop from Kendall Square via the T stop, to Audrey Street by the Tang and Westgate residences. The shuttle runs from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday.

The shuttle service was previously owned and operated by Paul Revere and coordinated by the Charles River Transportation Management Association. In August 2002, the MIT Parking and Transportation department took over operation of the TECH Shuttle service. The TECH Shuttle currently serves more than 200,000 passengers per year.

Airport Shuttles

The PTO operates Logan Airport Shuttles to accommodate students leaving for Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks. Nearly 800 students took advantage of this service during the past year.

Charter Shuttles

The PTO also uses its fleet of vans and mini-buses to transport MIT groups to MIT functions. This year we were hired to provide 200 round-trip shuttles.

Lawrence R Brutti
Operations Manager

More information about the Parking and Transportation Office can be found on the web at


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