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Update: Reston Town Center Retail Employees Will Get Free Parking

by Karen Goff — May 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm 17 Comments

Reston Town CenterRetail employees at Reston Town Center will not be charged for parking when a paid parking system goes into effect this summer, RTC owner Boston Properties has confirmed.

On Aug. 1, Reston Town Center will roll out RTC Park, an app-based system for paid parking. Parking will cost $2 an hour for a maximum of $24 a day. Some retailers will validate parking.

But originally, workers — from the CEO of a tech company on Freedom Drive to a sandwich maker at Potbelly — were going to to have to pay too, though they were going to be offered $50 or $70 a month passes.

Now retail and restaurant workers will get free parking. Office workers will still have to work out any subzidies with their employers or pay for parking.

Boston Properties says it is going to the new system to discourage commuter parking. There is evidence people are parking in some of RTC’s seven parking garages, then taking a shuttle to Wiehle-Reston East to board Metro’s Silver Line. The problem will likely get worse when the Reston Town Center station opens in 2020.

Parking at Reston Town Center will be free on weekends and at special events, management says.

RTC patrons have not been happy with the change. Thousands have signed petitions asking Boston Properties to reconsider. Many others have said they will no longer visit RTC during the week.

  • HP

    Why the distinction between retail/restaurant employees and office employees? Is BP implying one group can afford to pay for parking, where the other cannot? I don’t get it.

    • Karen Goff

      They haven’t fully explained it but something like that. Also, at some of the bigger offices (college Board, Google, Leidos, for example) employers are likely to subsidize and/or pay for parking as a company benefit.

      • JoeInReston

        Curious if these bigger companies when they signed their multi year leases stipulated free parking in the lease.

        • Greg

          The wise ones surely did.

          • JoeInReston

            If they can’t collect on the people that have to park there, and they can’t force other people to visit the RTC, this is looking like a bad move. All bad P/R, little profit.

          • johnson

            It’s free parking for me because i am definitely one that just won’t go there. Why don’t they go to “validated parking”?

    • Eric

      Seems likely that it’s because generally, retail pays terribly.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        I’m sure those building janitor and office mailroom jobs don’t pay so well either.

  • Michael Price

    The company I work for in RTC has it negotiated in the lease that we don’t pay for parking, at least for the first two years.

  • Guest

    Boston Properties has done absolutely nothing right in managing this “product launch.” Just grossly terrible marketing of a stupid surcharge for visiting Town Center.

  • June Smith

    “Now retail and restaurant workers will get free parking. Office workers will still have to work out any subzidies with their employers or pay for parking.”

    Office spaces don’t pay rent? This is not going to go down well.

  • Jacqui Depas

    Why can’t the first two hours be free? That way it will avoid commuters but still leave people free to shop or eat out

    • LakeNewportLady

      Because it’s not really about commuters

  • Tom H

    I would say 90% of my visits to RTC mid-week are for the restaurants. After paid parking goes into effect, I can truthfully say that I will not continue mid-week visits unless the restaurant offers validation.

    • vdiv

      Even if they do why bother with all of the headache?

  • mapchick

    My husband works for one of the bigger companies in RTC. His company is planning to cover the cost of its employee parking. He is going to be allowed to register both our vehicles on the account. He said that something was mentioned about the cost being covered “during business” hours only. Unclear what that means. If someone works late will they have to pay extra out of pocket? We have no idea. Boston Properties has done a bang up job working out the logistics of this nonsense.

  • J s w

    I,too, will not visit RTC if I have to pay to park. Will be interesting to see if business falls off. They tried to sell this idea by saying they wanted Reston to be “elite”!!! Really??
    Even the large mall in Santa Barbara gives the first hour free…….and there is no comparison between Reston and Santa Barbara !

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