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.