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South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center


Boston, Massachusetts

A Multi-Modal Neighborhood Hub

Walker Consultants conducted a supply and demand analysis and built a financial model to advise the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) on a parking structure integrated with a new transportation center in South Boston’s Seaport District. Once project approval was granted by Massport, Walker’s design team provided functional and operational design for the 1,650-space structure.

The structure serves nearby hotels, offices, homes, and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. It is connected to Logan Airport by the MBTA Silver Line and also to Cruiseport Boston by shuttle bus. It includes enclosed bike parking, public restrooms, and rooftop solar panels.

>> Read “Function Meets Form”, a case study about this project in the December 2020 issue of Parking & Mobility.

Pedestrian plaza in front of South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center at dusk

Study Identified the Right Size

With the opportunity to build on a parcel above the I-90 tunnel, Massport wished to understand the parking demand in Boston’s rapidly expanding Seaport District. What were the financial implications of a parking structure, including revenue potential from hourly, daily, and monthly parking patrons? What about operational costs?

Walker studied occupancy levels throughout the neighborhood and created a model to understand how planned development would shift demand patterns in the area. Throughout the planning and design process—and even during construction—Walker continued to update this model to consider alternate demand scenarios. Ultimately, Walker’s demand and financial models supported Massport’s goal to “right size” the structure, and let them evaluate different financing options.

Designed for Great Customer Experience

Buses pass the South Waterfront Transportation Center at duskWith the information from Walker’s parking study, Massport decided to proceed with a 1,650-space garage. Fennick McCredie Architecture led the project as the architect of record. Walker provided functional and operational design, including the parking access and revenue control and automated parking guidance systems.

The level-by-level automated guidance system directs visitors to available parking with dynamic signs, and a license plate reader system works in concert with pay-on-foot stations and proximity cards for monthly parkers. There are three vehicle entries and exits for convenient access to nearby highways. The structure has a center ramp and three bays that are designed for one-way operation, but with the flexibility to be operated in a two-way fashion to separate general public parking from special event parking or expanded valet operations.

The two stair/elevator towers are bright and open for passive security and conveniently located for easy connections to adjacent destinations, including the convention center and hotels. A large outdoor video wall and interactive kiosks offer wayfinding to nearby destinations and transit services. Visitors can also enjoy the landscaped public plaza, enclosed bike parking and repair station, and public restrooms.

Exterior of South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center on a sunny day

Photos by Alan Karchmer, courtesy Fennick McCredie Architecture