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Framingham

  The following Weblog items are filed under the Framingham category. There are 49 entries in this section. The earliest was published on March 08, 2013 and the latest entry was filed on May 31, 2013. If you have any comments about Framingham please let me know!

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Parking at the Framingham MBTA LotMay 31, 2013

Currently it cost $4 to park all day at the Framingham MBTA parking lot. There are 200 parking spaces and by the 8:45am inbound train most of the parking spaces are full.

If your going to a Red Sox game, you shouldn't have a problem getting a parking spot after 4:30, as that's when spots start opening up again as early commuters head home. In fact, by 5pm you may even get some of the premium parking spots next to the train station.

When I had to park at the lot a couple of times this week, I was wondering where I would get change so that I could put in $4 in the money slot. I ended up going to CVS and buying a couple of things and asking them to break a $20.

An alternative I later found is using the "Pay by Phone Parking" system by ParkMobile. You simply download their mobile application at www.parkmobile.com and register your car. The Framingham MBTA stop is Zone 116. This seems to be an easy way to pay for parking without having to look for $4 and to run to deposit your money in the money box when your running late.

More importantly there is no transaction fee for customers at MBTA lots where Parkmobile is available! Yes! This means you don't have to fumble around to find $4 to park!

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MBTA Super Express TrainMay 02, 2013

The MBTA recently added two new super express trains will make it much quicker to get from Boston to Framingham, cutting about 10 minutes off the regular express train.

I took one of the outbound express trains a day after it started. The were plenty of MBTA personal at the Back Bay terminal letting passengers know that next train would be the super express train and that the regular train would be arriving shorly after.

The train itself had fewer cars than other cars during the rush hour commute. There appered to be 2 cars short and none of the cars were double deckers which sit more passengers.

During the commute they counted all the passengers twice, by two different individuals. One was counting the number of passengers in the car and the other the total number of passengers on the train.

I thought there would be more available seating, but I was one of three people in the last car that was standing during the entire commute. I suspect that the train afterwards had more room than normal. There were a lot of people getting off at Framingham, my best guess would be less than half the train got off at the Framingham stop.

There's rumors that the MBTA will add additional express trains later this Fall. Also the Yakee Station should be finished this Fall, and that will adjust the train schedules so that the trains can run a bit more frequent. They had to adjust the schedules last Spring for the construction.

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Pearl Street Garage Could Get MBTA Commuter ShuttleApril 25, 2013

Some big news for those that park at the Pearl Street Garage. From the Framingham Patch:

Officials are discussing a plan with the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority to operate a shuttle bus from the the town’s Pearl St. parking garage to the MBTA commuter rail station.

“The hope is that this service together with the fact that we have opened the garage up for free commuter parking will increase its use,” Town Manager Robert Halpin said. That in turn will make the parking lot safer for all, he added.

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Commuter DeductionMarch 13, 2013

A followup to last week's posting about the Commuter Fringe Benefit offered by the IRS. The state of Massachusetts also has a Commuter Deduction. According to the Massachusetts Filing and Payment information page:

If an employer pays for an employee's MBTA pass, the amount by which the value of the pass exceeds $125 a month is included in the employee's income and reported as wages on the employee's W-2. To calculate the commuter deduction in these circumstances, the employee first deducts the $125 a month ($1,500 a year) from the cost of the pass; the remainder is the amount qualifying for the commuter deduction. The amount of the commuter deduction is the portion of the qualifying expenses that exceeds $150, and the total amount deducted cannot exceed $750.

May sure to to talk to your tax adviser on how to fill out the Massachusetts Schedule Y if you a commuter rail rider. This is a good deduction to take advantage to offset the price increase in done in July.

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Commuter Fringe BenefitMarch 08, 2013

Boston MBTA Commuter Rail riders should be aware of the change to the IRS pre-tax benefit for purchasing a monthly pass. In January, Congress changed the transit pass ceiling from $125 to $245. This means that for most commuters, more take-home money. (Framingham is in Zone 5 and it cost $252 for the monthly pass.)

In addition this change is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012! It's unclear how the IRS will handle the retroactive change. There could be a payroll adjustments, or some 1040 federal tax form adjustment.

Here is the official change as mentioned in the Revenue Procedure 2013-15:

Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit.
For taxable years beginning in 2013, the monthly limitation under § 132(f)(2)(A) regarding the aggregate fringe benefit exclusion amount for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle and any transit pass is $245. The monthly limitation under § 132(f)(2)(B) regarding the fringe benefit exclusion amount for qualified parking is $245.

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