TA: Parking and Public Transportation

Parking on the Observatory campus is permitted through an annual membership or via the purchase of daily parking permits (see below). However, due to shortage of parking space and high demand, the waiting period is one year or more. Therefore, taking public transportation or walking to work is highly recommended. See the MBTA Website for public transit options, and the public transit section below for more information on purchasing MBTA passes.

Cambridge Residents If you are a Cambridge resident, you can apply for a Cambridge resident street permit. A yearlong permit will cost $20 and is good for parking anywhere in Cambridge, so you can park on side-streets here (but watch out for street cleaning days, towing is a serious and lucrative business!).

Non-Cambridge Residents To apply for an Observatory parking permit you must get on the waiting list by filling out an application form and submitting it to the Harvard College Observatory Administrative Office (C-26). You may elect to have the cost deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis by filling out the relevant field on the form.

Daily parking permits cost $12, and are issued in the Administrative Office on a first come, first served basis.

Click here for parking information provided by HCO.

Public Transit It is possible to buy monthly passes for the subway, the bus, or a combination. To purchase a pass, visit the MBTA Website.

Harvard staff and fellows may apply for a pass on a pre-tax basis and elect to have these passes automatically sent by mail each month by signing up at the following Website:


SAO staff have a similar benefit which they learn about during staff orientation.

Unfortunately, SAO fellows and visiting scientists are not eligible for this pre-tax benefit at this time.

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