A new partnership between King County Metro and Diamond Parking Services aims to increase park-and-ride options for people connecting to transit. The pilot project and its website, Parkbytransit.com, connect people with fee-based parking on commercial and residential properties near major bus routes. Spaces will be available June 1 but customers can apply for permits starting today.
Metro provides service to 137 park-and-ride lots with more than 25,000 spaces in King County, but many are becoming overcrowded. Metro selected Diamond Parking Services through a competitive bid process to partner on a system that enables property owners to offer unused parking space for lease near bus routes and help meet growing demand.
The Park & Ride Partnership Project is funded with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration. This first-of-its-kind public/private partnership is designed to expand park-and-ride options by making use of excess parking adjacent to businesses, apartments and retailers. It helps Metro meet demand without the expense and time required to build or acquire new public facilities.
“This is the first time a transit agency has partnered with a network of private parking lot owners for transit customer use,” said Daniel Rowe, a Metro transportation planner and manager of the pilot project. ”It is one of many innovative and cost-efficient strategies that Metro is exploring to help the public connect to transit.”
Starting June 1, 250 spaces will be available to lease at 12 locations in King County. View this online map for locations and connecting bus routes. More locations are expected to be added as Diamond Parking, which manages the lots and customer transactions, continues recruiting property owners.
“Diamond looks forward to this partnership and using our parking management expertise to help commuters find convenient park-and-ride access in King County,” said Sheila Irish, City Manager at Diamond Parking.
How it works
Go to Parkbytransit.com to view available locations and prices. Customers who sign up will be mailed a monthly permit to hang in their car. The permit guarantees a spot in a designated area; individual spaces will not be assigned.
Diamond Parking will establish prices based on market rates for each location. The first month is offered free. Permits range from $32 to $173, compared to an average of $300 for monthly parking in downtown Seattle.
Properties were selected by Diamond in coordination with Metro. To be eligible for the project, properties must be near frequent transit routes that serve major employment centers such as downtown Seattle, have 10 or more available stalls between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., have safe walking conditions, and be within walking distance of bus stops. Diamond Parking enforces the parking rules.
Metro does not collect any revenue from the permit sales, but will benefit by gaining new riders on bus service.
In addition to the Park & Ride Partnership, Metro leases park-and-ride spaces on available properties near transit hubs (provided at no cost to transit riders) and launched a Carpool Parking Permit program in February that allows drivers with two or more regular transit riders (average of three days of ridership per week) to park in reserved spaces for free at six area park-and-rides.