For the first time since 1976, today the City of Tacoma begins charging for parking in the downtown core. The city will charge an introductory rate of 75¢/hour with a 2-hour maximum, a fee significantly lower than either Seattle ($2.50) or Portland ($1.60). In addition, today the city introduces a 90-minute buffer zone adjacent to the paid parking area in which parking will remain free but will for the first time be subject to time limitations.
Rates will be effective 8a-6p Monday through Saturday, with Sundays and designated holidays free, and Tacoma will use the same coin/card meters used by the City of Seattle. Sources at the City of Tacoma admit that the 75¢ rate will not cover administrative costs, making it likely that rates will rise once drivers have adapted to the new scenario and the city analyzes ongoing parking availability.
The change is expected to to increase parking availability in the core, markedly increase parking demand at Tacoma Dome Station (which for now will remain free parking), and boost ridership on Tacoma Link.