1) This has NOTHING to do with Keolis or the Commuter Rail.
2) This is about $4.50. So it really isn't a big deal.
1) This does involve the MBTA - more specifically the MBTA ferry system as well as the Mass DCR and LAZ Parking. You choose who should be most responsible.
2) It's the principle. There is no way I did anything wrong.
3) I followed all the rules and filed a clear and logical appeal within the appropriate time.
4) The fact that I got a ticket, and the fact that my appeal was denied, really proves some serious bureaucratic bungling. Sorry to fan the flames of discontent with the government and the MBTA here, but I can only report the facts...
The long story (after the "read more"):
A few weeks later, in mid-August, while discussing the Harbor Islands with my wife, she was poking around the website as I explained the yurts on Peddocks Island to her. I told her that they are very popular and book up immediately - there was no way we could book one on short notice. I told her we could just go out to Lovells with our tents and have a great time. She persevered with the yurts and checked the reservations page and found one available for the upcoming Saturday night! I told her to make the reservation immediately before it disappeared.
While doing research for our trip, I was worried about how we would get there and where we could leave our vehicle overnight. I did not want to park somewhere in Boston near the ferry terminal on the waterfront for ~$40 a day, as we had done when we went out to Lovells Island for our one day reconnaissance trip. I learned that overnight parking (for campers with reservations on the Islands) at the Hingham ferry terminal is free! Here is the relevant excerpt from the website:
Sidebar: If you have never been out to the Harbor Islands, it is a MUST. Even with imperfect weather, our trip was fantastic. Georges and Spectacle Islands are easy to get to, but take the time to venture further afield. We gathered bags full of wild blackberries on Lovells Island while exploring the old forts. We had so many blackberries we ate them almost constantly for the rest of the day and into Sunday and still brought some home! The yurts on Peddocks Island are great. WCVB's Chronicle did a spot on them - watch it here to learn what a yurt is. Here are a few pictures from our adventure:
So here's where the trouble begins. In the middle of September, I got a ticket (click to see it) in the mail related to our vehicle being parked at the ferry terminal overnight. Even though it was a hassle, they had an online appeal system. Obviously I hadn't saved the little parking pass that we had been given, but I had our reservation for the yurt. Since the policy regarding free overnight parking is clear, I figured it would be an easy resolution.
I filed an on-line appeal with three documents:
1) A copy of our reservation for the yurt. There is a note under "Directions" on page 5-6 of the reservation that repeats the 'free parking' policy.
2) A PDF of the website page that includes the 'free parking' policy.
3) This letter explaining the situation:
What the heck? I never claimed to have used the pay by phone system. Is this just boilerplate language they attach to every appeal denial?
At this point I was fed up and just sent them a check for the stupid $4.50. Could I have called LAZ Parking customer service to try to resolve the issue? Sure, but why should I have to do that? My appeal was clear, logical, and well documented. They screwed up (twice - first issuing me the ticket and second with the appeal) and now I would have to keep trying to chase them? Nope, not worth it.
But certainly worth it to give them some public shame here on my blog.