The City of Cambridge installs parking meters to provide short term parking for visitors and patrons of Cambridge businesses. Most on street meters have a two hour time limit; others have 30 or 60 minute limits. To see the specific location of meters on a map click here. If you need to park for longer than the posted time limit, please use one of the City parking garages or City parking lots that provide public parking.
All on-street meters in Cambridge take U.S. quarters only. Other coins deposited will not give any time on the meter. The on street parking meter rates are $1.00 per hour, 15 minutes for $.25 cents. Payment at meters is not required on Commonwealth of Massachusetts holidays or on Sundays.
Parking time limits are posted on signs in the vicinity of meters. These signs explain the maximum time vehicles can be parked at that meter, the hours the meter is in operation and either the days the meter is in operation or the exceptions when the meter is not in operation (i.e., 8am-6pm ex. Sunday). Vehicles may be parked in a parking space only as long as the maximum time that is posted for that area, whether you deposit more money after your time has run out or not. Vehicles that are parked in the same parking space longer than the time limit are subject to being ticketed for overtime parking. Because there are no marked spaces on Church, Linden or Plympton Streets, you may park on these streets only for the amount of time allowed and must move your vehicle off of the street by that time. You vehicle may be ticketed for overtime even if it is moved to a different space on the same street if parked on one of these three streets.
Signs at meters that say except during certain hours and days mean that the meters and the time limit are not in effect on those days. For example, a sign says 2-HR Parking, 8AM - 6PM, Except Sat & Sun. means that the parking at that location is unrestricted for hours and meter payments are not required from 6PM on Friday night until 8AM on Monday. Vehicles with a City of Cambridge Resident Parking Permit may park in such locations during that entire unrestricted time. Other vehicles are limited to 24 hours under the City's Storage regulation.
City policy allows vehicles to be parked up to the posted time limit if you park at a broken parking meter. Vehicles parked longer than the time limit are subject to being ticketed for overtime parking, even if the meter is broken. Click here to dispute a parking ticket you believe was invalid because of a broken parking meter.
Street Cleaning at Meters
Some meters are in street cleaning areas and will be ticketed and towed if parked at a meter during the day and time posted for street cleaning. In most cases, the street cleaning restriction at a meter is from 7am to 10am. Click here for the street cleaning schedule.
Temporary No Parking Restrictions at Meters
There are times when temporary no parking signs may be attached to a meter. These signs will state the date, times, and reason for the restriction. Please read these signs carefully as vehicles are subject to being ticketed and towed during these times.
There are several methods which can be used to submit a parking ticket dispute so that the Department can investigate your claim if you feel you have been ticketed for a meter violation incorrectly. You can complete the online dispute form, mail the information to the address on the ticket, or visit our office to file a dispute. We will investigate your dispute and respond by mail or email in a timely manner. Please note that there is no grace period for expired time when a car is parked at a meter. Once the meter has expired, the vehicle is in violation. Meters will indicate time has expired by showing “00:00” on the face of the meter and a flashing “expired” or red image on the reverse side.