Commuters question parking fee increase at South Attleboro train station

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SOUTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — James Loxley parks at the MBTA’s South Attleboro lot and commutes to Boston every day for work.

He used to pay $70 for his monthly parking pass, but it just jumped to $105 each month. The daily weekday parking rate also went up from $4 to $6.

“I think the price increase doesn’t justify what the station conditions are,” Loxley told Call 12 for Action.

At least two of the station’s staircases are blocked off. Others allow the sun to shine right through rust.

“The stairs are in dire need of repairs,” Loxley told Call 12 for Action. “There’s a lot of potholes.”

The MBTA’s updated parking fee structure went into effect September 1. It’s the first parking rate change at MBTA lots in 10 years.  

Weekend rates went down at most stations. Weekday rates also went down at some lots that don’t fill up, but at 32 of the busier lots, including South Attleboro, the weekday rates went up.

“Two dollars a day increase, that’s kind of unfortunate,” said commuter Colin Rye.  

“It not only affects myself but it affects everybody else,” Loxley added.

The MBTA expects its parking rate changes will generate an extra $8.5 million.

Commuters like Loxley, who are paying more for parking, say they want to know what’s going to happen with the extra revenue. 

Lisa Battiston, a spokesperson for the MBTA, told Call 12 for Action South Attleboro is not receiving parking surface reconstruction this year. She said there are plans for several enhancements, including improvements to the pedestrian bridge, crosswalks, and platforms.

She initially said there were plans in the works to improve the stairways. However, she later informed Call 12 for Action that planned improvements do not include work on the stairway.

Overall, the MBTA says it is spending $64 million to rehab two South Shore parking garages and another $10 million to improve pavement, lighting and security at its surface parking lots.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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