All Permit Parking Locations (Republic Parking)

In January, Metro rolled out free carpool parking permits at 6 park-and-rides around the County. Like the 9 park-and-rides under a similar Sound Transit program, the permits reserved spaces for permit holders until 8:30am. The program is meant to increase parking predictability and increase the yield of riders per parking space by encouraging carpools. In each case, the vast majority of spots are unchanged.

Beginning November 1, nine more park-and-rides are in Metro’s offering: Green Lake, Aurora Village, Shoreline, Kenmore, Bear Creek, Bothell, Kingsgate, Wilburton, Renton Metropolitan Place, and Tukwila.

The number of reserved spaces depends on the number of permits issued. The six lots in Metro’s current program average about 100 permits combined. Northgate is the most popular location.

A more straightforward way to encourage carpooling is simply to charge for parking, but for some that raises equity issues and accusations of a revenue grab. The permit program neatly sidesteps those issues, although parking remains among the most expensive ways to bring riders to a transit hub.

You can apply for a permit here.

4 Replies to “Expanded Carpool Permits Start Tomorrow”

  1. I think it would make sense to charge for parking, but put the money into local improvements. An easy way to do that would be to add more local transit, but that might not be as popular as other improvements, like improved parks, schools, or sidewalks. Doing that would be seen less as a money grab, and more as a way to manage the demand while keeping the money local.

    1. Any money should go into transit service, not parks, schools, or sidewalks. Metro is a transit service provider, and I doubt they will actually make much money off of charging for park and rides after expenses.

      I think it’s disappointing that the “money grab angle” argument gets any airtime here. Are fares money grabs? They, like parking, are provided without recuperating their costs. How can subsidizing something (still the case after making it $3 a day), be called a money grab?

      1. Because the increase in fare revenue or parking revenue is not offset by a reduction in subsidy. That being said, I think not charging for parking at congested garages is poor management of a limited resource and fiscally irresponsible

      2. It is politics, pure and simple, Steven. When it comes to public policy, people are stupid. Just look at the lack of income tax in this state. Opponents argue that an income tax will simply lead to more overall spending, instead of a shift from one form of taxation to another. That is an unjustified assumption, given that Washington has a higher tax rate per capita than Oregon. But because people are ignorant and stupid, they vote out of fear, without considering that most would see a reduction in their overall taxes.

        Same with this issue. Folks will be quick to say this is a huge loss for transit riders, since they can no longer park for free. If the money just goes into the big pot, there will be complaints, for that reason. But if the money goes for specific projects that locals can see, then it will be viewed differently.

        Spending money on routes that feed the park and ride (like the 41) would make the most sense, as these actually reduce the need of the parking at the same time. So if the park and ride is full, and you are making good money off of it, then it is time to add better bus service so folks don’t have to drive so far to the park and ride. If the lot is half empty, then you probably can’t justify the extra service, as their simply isn’t that much demand for the core service. The fee becomes self regulating.

        But I really don’t care if the money goes into transit, or something else. Again, it is all political. If folks in the neighborhood want to put in sidewalks, or a new addition to the school, or hire art teachers with the money, I am fine with that. I think dedicated funding in general is stupid, but necessary for political reasons (because voters are generally stupid).

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