T transit police take over parking probe

Officials tight-lipped on apparent loss of revenue

AN MBTA SPOKESMAN said the agency has now brought in the transit police to investigate parking fee discrepancies that came to light last month, but refused to provide more details.

Last week, the T confirmed that a comparison of daily revenue reports at its North Quincy parking lot failed to match up with vehicle counts. The T asked its parking lot operator, LAZ Parking, to investigate the discrepancy and the company reported back that it had taken appropriate action. LAZ promised a written report this week.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said on Monday that the matter has now been referred to the transit police and the state Transportation Department’s auditing division. Pesaturo declined to say what prompted the referral, provided no information on the LAZ report, and offered no details on the size of the parking fee discrepancy. One source familiar with the situation told CommonWealth last week that the discrepancies amounted to $1,200 to $2,000 a day at multiple parking lots.

Parking revenue at the MBTA is up through the first eight months of this fiscal year compared to last year. According to T figures, parking revenue overall was up 6 percent to $30.58  million. The increase in revenues was even greater at lots that shifted last July from collecting cash parking fees using an honor system to one that requires payment by phone. According to the T, revenue at the newly cashless parking lots was $9.4 million through the first eight months of the current fiscal year, up 14.7 percent compared to the same period a year ago.