Mayor Menino to Kick off Holidays on Main Streets, Challenges Residents to Shop Locally
Launches new Boston Meter Card for coin-free parking and announces free holiday parking hours
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For Immediate Release
November 22, 2011
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office

Mayor Thomas M. Menino will officially kick off the City’s annual Holidays on Main Streets campaign and launch the new Boston Meter Card today at 5:30 PM at East Boston’s Maverick Station, joining local residents and retailers to highlight Boston’s 20 Main Streets districts during the holiday season.  This year, Mayor Menino is challenging residents to do their shopping locally and support their neighborhood retailers. The Mayor will also unveil the first ever Boston Meter Card, a reloadable parking debit card designed to eliminate the need for coins at Boston’s 7,000 single-space meters.  As is tradition in Boston, the City will also offer two hours of free metered parking in commercial districts on Black Friday and Saturdays from Thanksgiving through Christmas. 

“I am issuing a special challenge to residents to visit their neighborhood business districts for holiday shopping this year,” Mayor Menino said.  “We want to remind shoppers that some of the most unique gifts and holiday experiences can be found in their own neighborhoods, without the mall traffic and Black Friday lines.  Holidays on Main Streets is about shopping locally, but also about bringing community together during this festive time of year.”

Mayor Menino also announces today a new, more convenient way to use metered parking in Boston: the first ever Boston Meter Card.  The prepaid and reloadable card is designed to be used exclusively for payment at the 7,000 single-space parking meters across the City and eliminates the need to carry quarters.  Users simply swipe the card when they park and again when they leave to deduct the exact amount owed.   In honor of the card’s debut this holiday season, the Boston Meter Card will be discounted 20% through December 31. 

“We want to make it as convenient as possible for Boston residents and visitors to patronize our neighborhood business districts.  The Boston Meter Card will be a great tool for consumers and I’m thrilled to be able to launch it in time for the holiday season,” Mayor Menino said.


Holidays on Main Streets

Boston Main Streets is hosting the Deck the Windows campaign, now in its second year, encouraging business owners to decorate their storefronts for the holidays.  Shoppers can vote for their favorites and Mayor Menino will honor the winner on Tuesday, December 20.  Windows must be decorated by Friday, December 2, at which point a panel of local judges chosen by each participating Main Streets district will select the best window display and submit it to the Department of Neighborhood Development for posting to the City’s website and public voting.  For more information visit   

Boston has also joined American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Trust Main Street Center in proclaiming Saturday, November 26, 2011 “Small Business Saturday” in an effort to highlight the importance of supporting small businesses on the busy shopping weekend after Thanksgiving. The City and Mayor Menino will celebrate “Small Business Saturday” in Roslindale Village Main Street’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday afternoon. 

In addition to shopping fun, families can celebrate the holidays in Boston neighborhoods with a number of family-friendly events such as tree lightings, holiday strolls, and scavenger hunts.   The 8th annual Mayor’s Holiday Special website offers special deals on tickets to holiday shows and shopping in Boston.  Visit to find holiday events in your neighborhood.


Boston Meter Card

The Boston Meter Card is the first card designed to be used exclusively for payment at the 7,000 single space parking meters in the City’s most popular shopping, business and entertainment areas, such as, Faneuil Hall, the Financial District, Downtown Crossing, the Back Bay, the Charlestown Navy Yard, the South End, the North End/Waterfront and the Allston/Brighton Business District.  The cards are available for sale online at and are also sold in Boston City Hall, Room 224 - the Office of the Parking Clerk. 

Cards can also be purchased at the BTD Mobile Command Center from 10 AM to 2 PM on select Saturdays during the holiday season at the following locations:

  • Friday, November 25: City Hall Plaza
  • Saturday, November 26: Samuel Adams Statue on Faneuil Hall Plaza
  • Saturday, December 3:  Summer Street in Downtown Crossing
  • Saturday, December 10: Samuel Adams Statue on Faneuil Hall Plaza
  • Saturday, December 17: 587 Boylston Street, in front of CVS

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