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1 College Freshman

Parking: Don't park, just take the T.

1 College Junior

Parking: Don't bring a car, parking is Boston is impossible unless you want to spend more money on a space than you did your car.

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2 College Freshman

Parking: We don't have parking and city parking is very pricey.

1 College Junior

Parking: I've never heard of Emerson having its own parking lot. I think the only parking available is the public parking or if you're lucky you can find a meter spot on the Common. Really don't bother with a car.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: The school is located in the middle of the city, and does not offer any parking specifically for students. If you live on campus, keeping a car is almost impossible and ridiculously expensive, luckily it's also very unnecessary as public transportation is easily accessible and it's Boston so almost everything you could need is within walking distance.


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It looks like the students agree—parking in Boston is awful. Wait, did we say awful? We meant incredibly, unbearably awful. So awful, you’re better off parachuting in from a passing jet than driving in. Yeah, it’s that bad. From the permit-parking-only spots to the lane closures to the exorbitant fees for parking lots, it’s virtually a lost cause. Although many students consider taking their cars to college, at Emerson—and most other schools in Boston—it’s neither smart nor necessary. Students who live off campus and attempt to drive to school for the first time soon realize that not only does it take twice as long to navigate the streets as it does to ride the bus, but it’s also likely to spike your blood pressure about 30 points. And that’s just getting there. By the time you find a parking spot, you will have missed most of your class and will probably be so frustrated that the sidewalk looks like a reasonable spot to stash your car.

If you’re willing to drop a fistful of cash, you can park in a nearby parking garage, which might seem reasonable to those who love their whips and can’t imagine leaving them at home. But be warned: Due to the throngs of pedestrians, countless potholes, never-ending construction, and Boston’s terrible drivers, cruising in Boston is nightmarish.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
There are no parking permits given
Common Parking Tickets
  • Fire hydrant: $100
  • Fire lane: $100
  • Parking in residential area without a permit: $20
Best Places to Find a Spot
If you even want a chance at finding an open meter, you'll have to look farther away, such as on Tremont Street a couple blocks south of Boylston Street. Don't forget your walking shoes.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
Beacon, Boylston, Charles, Arlington, and Newbury streets, all of Chinatown, anywhere near the Common
Getting a Parking Permit
Off-campus students may be able to secure a resident parking permit for their neighborhood. Keep in mind that Massachusetts registration and proof of residency will be required. These permits only assure you parking near your home, and they often have year-long waitlists.
Did You Know?
The school suggests avoiding driving to Emerson. The only safe spots to park near campus are in city parking lots, which are not cheap. The closest garage to campus is the Boston Common parking garage, located beneath the Common. Rates range from $8 to $27, depending on how long you stay. Weekend and evening rates are available. Monthly passes cost up to $360. Overnight montly passes (in after 4 p.m., out by 10 a.m.) are $150 a month.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 57 responses

  • 0% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 4% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 5% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 12% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 30% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 49% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 60 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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