Angle Lake Station aerial view

Angle Lake Station parking garage, to feature $5/month carpool parking permits starting Opening Day – Sounder Bruce

The Operations & Administration Committee of the Sound Transit Board took action Thursday on several contracts, including the selection of the contractor to operate Sound Transit’s soon-to-be-permanent permit parking program.

Republic Parking Northwest submitted the winning bid to operate the program. RPNW will administer the permits, patrol the permitted stalls at the lots, issue warnings, and tow cars when appropriate. RPNW operates several public and private parking lots in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii. The contract is for one year, with four one-year extension options.

The program will just be for carpools for the first 6-9 months, charging $5 per permit per month. Permit holders will have to provide ORCA card numbers for their passengers, which will be used to determine whether an average of at least three of them are riding, when permits are up for renewal.

Setting a permit fee for SOVs will require a separate Board action in the coming months. Part of the SOV permit fee discussion will be about recouping the cost of the program, which could run as high as $3.1 million for the five-year life of the contract. The background material offers this bit of optimism:

Of peer agencies offering monthly permit parking, SEPTA charges $20/month, LA Metro charges $20-$39/month, BART charges $30-$115/month, CTA charges $40-$129/month and DART charges $50-$60/month. Under any of these fee structures, Sound Transit would be able to fully recoup permit parking management costs, and may be able to generate net revenue.

The lots covered by the program will include Angle Lake Station from the first day it is open, Tukwila International Boulevard Station, all five Sounder station lots from Puyallup to Tukwila, Federal Way Transit Center, Issaquah TC, and Mercer Island Park & Ride. Up to 50% of the stalls at each lot could eventually be brought into the program.

Sound Transit had a parking permit pilot project from 2013 to 2014.

King County Metro is considering following suit. Its survey on the topic continues through August 19.

Committee Chair Paul Roberts quipped, “There is no finish line insofar as parking is concerned.”

Other contracts for which the committee gave final approval were renovation of the basement in Union Station, and replacement of cracking concrete at Auburn Station.

The committee also recommended approval of the Draft Transit Development Plan (TDP) 2016-2021 and 2015 Annual Report, which goes to the full Board next for final approval on August 25.

13 Replies to “ST Selects Contractor to Operate Permit Parking Program”

    1. Sure, I’d rather have TOD. But given that the status quo is free and with no incentive to carpool, I support charging a fee and incentivizing carpooling.

    2. As long as the parking structure will last 1166 years, they’ll break even. I mean castles last that long and they weren’t built with the current advancements of modern construction, so no problem.

  1. So for confirmation if you want a $70,000 guaranteed priority spot you and at least two others need to chip in $5 per month or $1.67 per person. Note this will also include thousands of dollars in enforcement costs and costs associated to analyzing ORCA data for registered carpoolers.

    If you want to use a $2,000 not guaranteed to be available secure bike locker on maybe $500 of concrete you need to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit and $50 per year which is about $4.17 per month. No ORCA card data is required and I don’t think ST has ever done any kind of enforcement of bike facility usage.

    In both cases the monthly costs fall way below the administrative costs and therefor wouldn’t put a dent in the capital costs but it appears that the costs may be just a bit disproportionate to those initial investments and ongoing maintenance/enforcement?

    I’m guessing even a fiscally conservative anti-bike republican would see something wrong with this picture.

    1. UW Station needs a bike valet, free with transfer. It would be the preferred route to downtown from a huge swath of north Seattle (during the summer)

      1. Totally agree. That’s the best way to get the most value out of the investment that we’ve already made in parking.

    1. The market rate is to drive into West Seattle or Magnolia or some other place without a residential parking permit system and park on the street for free.

      1. How long does it take to get a bus from Magnolia to downtown? Longer than parking schemers are willing to wait and ride. And West Settle, did you hear about the unreliability of getting there at rush hour?

      2. I’m not opposed to charging for parking. However, the “market rate” for a place like Angle Lake or Federal Way is quite different than a parking garage in downtown Seattle. Lakewood, last I checked, was somewhere around 19% full.

        Those that park along 22nd in Magnolia (and I have seen them do this) and similar locations are doing it to be cheap and avoid downtown Seattle rates.

        My point is that you don’t want to charge too much and shove the problem around.

Comments are closed.