At a time when there’s more development, jobs and people than ever, something appears to be disappearing from downtown Boston: commercial garage space.

Consider the landmark Government Center garage, which, at its peak, held 2,300 cars. Much of the garage is now being demolished, and when construction at the site is complete, it will be transformed into a residential, hotel and office complex that will hold far more people and about that half that number of cars.

Bulfinch Crossing, as the development is called, exemplifies a trend to redevelop commercial parking amid growing evidence that, at least in downtown Boston, other modes of transportation are catching on, too.

“People used to drive everywhere. There was almost an addiction to the vehicle,” said Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president and executive director of the Back Bay Association. “I think what we’re seeing is an evolution of how people are looking at their cars.”

Nearby garages, she said, are rarely at capacity. And a surface parking lot on the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth Streets is for sale. It’s long been a Back Bay mainstay, but Mainzer-Cohen expressed no nostalgia. She looks forward to seeing how the site is redeveloped.

“Someone could work there, someone could live there,” she said.

The last official count of commercial parking spaces was in 2016, when A Better City report inventoried 33,200 commercial spaces in the downtown area. The city says that number has likely decreased slightly, but so has demand, as people increasingly leave their cars at home in favor of using everything from street bicycle rentals to public transit.

“We caught the 57 and then transferred at Kenmore on the B line all the way down to Copley,” said Jonathan Allen, describing his commute from Brighton to Back Bay. He used to drive but he said, “it’s a hassle.”

Another sign people are driving into the city less is a marked decrease in the number of valet permits. The city issued 117 valet permits last year, down from 173 in 2016.

One major reason: the popularity of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

“Uber’s really changed things up a lot,” said Tom Brennan, who has worked in the Back Bay for 35 years and correlates ride sharing with an increased availability in street parking.

There’s another reason parking may be easier to find in Back Bay: a sharp increase in the cost of on-street parking. The hourly rate went from $1.25 to $3.75 an hour in January 2017.

Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca cited a yearlong study that found the higher rates led to an 11 percent increase in available metered spaces and a 14 percent decrease in double parking.

“When you drive through Newbury Street or the Back Bay, it’s far less congested, but it’s still a vibrant economic area," said Fiandaca. “Businesses are actually seeing that folks can drive in and actually find a parking space.”

Even as parking has become easier in some neighborhoods, congestion remains a major issue and Boston officials want to find new ways to reduce the number of cars coming into the city.

A 2019 report from the Boston Green Ribbon Commission – a group of business, institutional and civic leaders – suggested one way to lessen the parking problem, and make the city carbon-free, would be a "congestion fee." Under the proposal, which has been used successfully in other cities worldwide, motorists who drive into the city would pay $5 during peak traffic times.

"I’m not sure I see that in the short term. I think in the short term, make investments in our transit system to encourage folks," said Fiandaca. "I think that certainly wouldn’t be our first tool in our toolbox.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Bulfinch Crossing.