VIDEO: Reserved parking now available to carpoolers at 6 Metro park-and-rides

Reserved parking is now available for carpoolers at six Metro park-and-rides. All they have to do is apply for a free Carpool Parking Permit and display it on their vehicle.

King County Metro Transit will reserve parking spaces at six area park-and-rides until 8:30 a.m. for groups of two more riders with permits. Reserved spaces will be marked clearly with a sign in front of each stall. After 8:30 a.m., permit spaces open to the general public.

Permits are available through Republic Parking Northwest, and went into effect Feb. 1. They are part of a pilot program intended to better manage demand at park-and-rides, which often are already full or nearly full by early morning.

For some commuters, such as shift workers or working parents who have to drop off children at daycare, that can be a disadvant

More information is available in he video above or at Metro’s Carpool Parking Permit website. You can also find our most commonly-asked questions at the bottom of this page.

Carpool Parking Permits will be offered for Redmond, Issaquah Highlands, South Kirkland, South Renton, Northgate and Eastgate — six of the busiest park-and-rides in King County.

Only a small number of spaces will be allocated to carpool permits at the start of the program, and most park-and-ride spaces still will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The number of reserved parking spaces will be based on the number of permits issued per location.

Metro’s program was designed to be integrated with Sound Transit’s new carpool permit program, which also offers permits at nine additional area park-and-rides.


How do I obtain a permit?carpool_permit_sign_020117

Applicants must provide basic contact information, ORCA card numbers, vanpool ID, or email for each member of the carpool. Permits are free.

Regular transit use is not initially required to obtain a permit, but at least two carpool permit-holders must average three days a transit ridership per week (12 days per month) to stay qualified. Permits can be obtained through Republic Parking Northwest, and must be renewed monthly.

.If you have questions about permit eligibility, applications and payments call Republic Parking Northwest at 206-783-4144, extension 0. More information can be found at Metro’s Permit Parking website.

Why is Metro offering carpool permits?

Of the 54 permanent park-and-rides Metro operates, half are at 80 percent capacity or higher, and some fill up completely before the morning commute ends. In addition to being inconvenient, the “first-come-first-served” system now in place is unfair for people with later work, school or appointment schedules.

In response to increased demand, Metro is currently exploring a range of options to both manage and expand parking supply. One way to do this is to encourage people to carpool to the park-and-ride. In February 2017, we are launching a pilot program at six of our busiest park and rides that will offer free carpool parking permits to regular transit riders.

Are Metro carpool parking permits free?

Yes. This pilot carpool parking program we plan to launch in February is strictly voluntary, and the permits for carpool users are free. Our partner agency Sound Transit also offers carpool permits and reserved parking for $5 per month.

What’s the perk for permit holders?

In return for signing up, carpool permit holders will have reserved parking until 8:30 a.m., after which time the stalls will be available for all transit riders.

How long will the pilot program operate?

The pilot program will last for one year. At that point, permit holders and riders will be able to share their feedback about what worked well, and what could be improved.

How many permits will be issued?

The number of permits will depend on demand each month. Metro’s target is about 5 percent of current parking spaces will be reserved for carpoolers. The program limits the number of reserved spaces to 50 percent of parking stalls at each lot. After 8:30 a.m., reserved spaces open to the general public.

How will the permits be enforced?

Drivers who park in reserved spaces without a permit between 4 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. will be subject to two warnings – subsequent violations will result in having the vehicle towed. Republic Parking Northwest will monitor permit spaces each morning and issue warnings if needed.

 Is Sound Transit also offering carpool permits? How is Metro’s program different? 

Sound Transit kicked off a carpool parking program last fall at nine area park-and-rides after completing its own public outreach campaign and pilot program. Metro’s program was designed to be integrated with Sound Transit’s new carpool permit program, but Metro’s carpool parking permits will be free of charge. Sound Transit’s permits cost $5 per month.

If people can’t find parking, shouldn’t they just get to the park-and-ride earlier?

Flexible work schedules aren’t an option for everyone, and many Metro customers work in a variety of occupations with schedules that don’t conform to a typical 8-to-5 business day. Those who don’t work outside the home still depend on transit to get to classes, job interviews or appointments. Making sure all riders have access to consistent service level, including parking availability, is a priority.

What if people obtain permits and don’t carpool?

At least two carpool permit-holders must average three days a transit ridership per week (12 days per month) to stay qualified. Permits can be obtained through Republic Parking Northwest, and must be renewed monthly. Metro staff will review information to make sure permit holders meet the eligibility requirements, and revoke permits for those who no longer qualify.

 Will Metro start charging for carpool permits? Or require paid parking for all riders?

Metro has no plans at this time for a paid parking system. Any changes in these plans would involve discussion with a number of local governments and other stakeholders, and we would also give transit customers an opportunity to be part of this process.

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