T’s director of parking leaves authority
Agency officials refuse to discuss the departure
THE MBTA’s DIRECTOR OF PARKING left the transit authority on Friday after just a little over a year on the job, raising concerns that oversight of one of the transit authority’s major sources of revenue is once again in turmoil.
Sources say David J. Friend’s departure was related to the MBTA’s oversight of its contract with Republic Parking System of Chatanooga, Tennessee. Republic was hired on April 1 last year to manage the MBTA’s parking lots after the T became dissatisfied with its earlier vendor, LAZ Parking, whose employees were accused of stealing an undetermined amount of money. LAZ ultimately settled a lawsuit brought by the T by agreeing to pay $4.5 million.
Republic’s five-year contract with the T is structured very differently from the contract with LAZ. The performance-based contract pays Republic $360,000 a year, well below the $9.4 million a year paid to LAZ, but the agreement requires the T to reimburse Republic on a monthly basis for staffing, maintenance, and other operating expenses. The T is expecting a $15 million increase during the current fiscal year from parking and advertising revenues.MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo, in response to an inquiry from CommonWealth, confirmed Friend’s last day on the job but declined to provide any other information. He said the agency doesn’t discuss personnel matters.
The T owns 10 garages and 91 surface parking lots, a total of over 44,000 spaces.