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Carpooling to transit? Metro program reserves carpool spaces at park-and-rides

Summary

Morning commuters traveling from the suburbs and areas that lack frequent transit service will soon have a new incentive to carpool to area park-and-rides and catch the bus.

Story

Free carpool permits now available to ensure access for regular transit riders

Morning commuters traveling from the suburbs and areas that lack frequent transit service will soon have a new incentive to carpool to area park-and-rides and catch the bus.

Starting February 1, King County Metro Transit will reserve parking spaces at area park-and-rides until 8:30 a.m. each morning for groups of two or more riders who regularly ride the bus, or use park-and-rides to meet a vanpool or other carpool. All they have to do is display a free Carpool Parking Permit.

Carpool Parking Permits are available now through Republic Parking Northwest, and customers are encouraged to obtain them early. As transit demand grows, many of Metro’s park-and-rides 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 disadvantage. More information is available at Metro’s Carpool Parking Permit website.

“Metro is committed to developing innovative solutions that better serve our customers,” Metro General Manager Rob Gannon said. “This pilot program offers regular transit users more convenience as demand increases at park-and-rides.”

The pilot program will be tested at six of the busiest park-and-rides in King County, including Redmond, Issaquah Highlands, South Kirkland, South Renton, Northgate and Eastgate.

“Commuters who carpool to these busy park-and-rides now can have certainty they can find a parking space,” said Transportation Planner Daniel Rowe, who is managing the program. “That makes transit more accessible, and it does so without having to build more parking spaces at additional expense to taxpayers.”

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 to obtain a permit

Applicants must provide basic contact information, ORCA card numbers, vanpool ID, or RideshareOnline.com 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 of transit ridership per week (12 days per month) to stay qualified. Permits can be obtained through Republic Parking Northwest, and must be renewed monthly.

Drivers who park in reserved spaces without a permit will be subject to two warnings – subsequent violations will result in having the vehicle towed. In February, Metro will step up enforcement for violations of park-and-ride rules, with a focus on trouble spots at the Redmond, Northgate and Eastgate park-and-rides.

More information can be found at Metro’s Permit Parking website.

 

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