Starting November 1, King County Metro will offer reserved parking for carpoolers at nine additional park-and-rides, including Green Lake, Aurora Village, Shoreline, Kenmore, Bear Creek, Bothell, Kingsgate, Wilburton, Renton Metropolitan Place, and Tukwila. To access reserved parking, customers must first obtain a free Carpool Parking Permit.
StoryMetro is expanding the Carpool Parking Permit program from six existing locations: Redmond, Issaquah Highlands, South Kirkland, South Renton, Northgate and Eastgate. Spaces are reserved for permit-holders until 8:30 a.m.
Metro launched the program to increase the number of people that can access transit at park-and-rides, and provide more flexibility in time of arrival for permit holders. Many lots are full by early morning, which is a disadvantage for some commuters, such as shift workers or working parents who have to drop off children at daycare.
Permits applications are now available at all 15 locations through Republic Parking Northwest. More information is available at Metro’s Carpool Parking Permit website.
Permits are available to groups of two or more transit customers who regularly ride the bus, or use park-and-rides to meet a vanpool or carpool.
Most park-and-ride spaces still will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and do not need a permit. The number of reserved carpool 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 carpool permit program, which also offers permits at nine additional area park-and-rides.
The Carpool Parking Permit program averages 100 active permits each month, with the highest number of permits at Northgate. Customers report the certainty of finding a space and reduced stress as the program’s biggest benefits.
In addition to carpool permit parking, Metro is developing multiple improvements for customers trying to connect to transit. Metro recently launched parkbytransit.com, a partnership to increase park-and-ride options by connecting commuters with fee-based parking on commercial and residential properties near major bus routes.
Metro also is working to lease new park-and-ride lots and to increase enforcement at some of the busiest locations to ensure parking is safe and being used by transit customers.
Metro also works with local jurisdictions to fund new walk and bike connections to transit and is exploring private sector partnerships to provide first and last mile connections.
How to obtain a permitBasic contact information for one carpool member is required to establish an account. Applicants must provide contact information, ORCA card numbers, vanpool ID, or RideshareOnline.com email for each member of the carpool to complete the application process and receive a permit. Permits are free.
Regular transit use is not initially required to obtain a permit, but at least two carpool permit-holders must ride transit 12 days per month (an average of three days per week) 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.
More information can be found at Metro’s Permit Parking website.