King County Metro Park-and-Ride users can now apply for a permit if they carpool to the lot regularly. The permit guarantees a reserved parking space until 8:30 a.m. on weekdays.
After 8:30 a.m., any driver may park in that spot. Permits are free. Transit users can apply for them now online.
The system will be enforced by Republic Parking, which also oversees the carpool permits administered by Sound Transit.
Sound Transit began implementing similar carpool permits at nine of their park-and-ride locations, but their permits cost $5. Sound Transit plans to start issuing solo-driver permits in late 2017, but the price of those permits has not been set.
King County Metro Transportation planner Daniel Rowe said there are currently no plans to charge for any permits to park at Metro Park-and-Rides.
The following six Metro Park-and-Rides will implement new carpool stalls on Feb. 1st:
King County Metro plans to only have the number of placards active that matches the number of approved permit holders in a given month. While they may install signs covering 5 percent of the stalls in a lot, there may be fewer permit holders. So some of the signs may remain covered and accessible to all drivers.
In addition to the carpool program, Rowe said they will consider other options, like restriping lots to include more spaces and finding new lots to lease.
“We’re also partnering with multi-family developers to offer parking at underused stalls in multi-family developments that are near transit,” Rowe said.
This would involve private property owners allowing transit users to take over stalls during the day when residents aren’t using them.
King County recently finished a long-range plan that would expand transit service to and from major hubs and improve ways for people to bike, walk or take a ride-share vehicle to these stations.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. We need a number of options, and we need flexibility for customers,” Rowe said.
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