Town Cancels Free Holiday Parking, Blames Freeloading Commuters

Bayonne, N.J., pulled the plug on its traditional offer of free municipal parking during the December holidays because, the mayor said, too many NJ Transit riders abused it, parking in the free municipal lots all day instead of lots for commuters.

“In recent years, the city … has offered free parking in municipal parking lots for non-commercial vehicles during the month of December,” the mayor said. “That policy was intended to encourage Christmas shopping in Bayonne. However, the free parking policy was abused by out-of-town commuters who parked their cars in the lots for several hours while they took the light rail to work in New York.”

Officials said businesses owners reported cars with New York plates parked in the municipal lots all day, leading them to believe those drivers were commuters into the city, not shoppers (A New York City councilman quickly fired back on Twitter with a quip about “Jersey boys” in their lots).

Free parking during the holiday season has become a common practice in recent years. Business owners and shoppers say it makes the shopping season easier. Read the whole story here. Has something similar happened in your area during free parking season? Let us know in the comments.