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King County Metro is working on new ways to help more people get to transit service. To help meet growing demand at the Northgate area park & rides, Metro is designating four parking spaces for free floating car share vehicles (car2go/SHARE NOW). This pilot program will increase the number of ways customers can connect to transit, including customers who don’t own a car and use car share as an alternative.

About the project

Many park & rides, including at Northgate, are overcrowded, leading to customer frustration and increasing pressure to add more parking spaces. Metro’s long-range vision, METRO CONNECTS, calls for better management of parking before adding spaces. The plan also encourages Metro to test innovative solutions that harness new technology and private service providers. The car share spaces are intended to be used by more people throughout the day in comparison to general use spaces, enabling more customers to get to transit.

Contact us

King County Metro Transit
201 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3856
Phone: 206-553-3000
Send an email

How does it work?

Connecting TO a bus, vanpool or carpool:

Drive your shared car to Northgate Transit Center .

Park your shared car in the designated space at the transit center.

Board your bus, vanpool or carpool and continue your trip.

Connecting FROM a bus, vanpool or carpool:

Reserve (if available) a shared car via the car2go (SHARE NOW) app in advance of arriving at Northgate Transit Center.

Go to the dedicated car share spaces at the transit center.

Find your shared car and off you go.

Frequently asked questions

Car sharing is a practice where people become members in an organization (like Zipcar, car2go/SHARE NOW and LimePod) that owns a variety of cars, which members can then use under the terms of their membership. Free-floating car sharing allows members to unlock, drive, and park within a given service area, without needing to pick-up and return the vehicle to a specific parking space.

Northgate’s frequent all-day transit service attracts riders throughout the day and evening. Parking spaces fill early and usually remain full all day, yet customers continue to need to get there throughout the day. While many customers arrive on foot, by bike, and by transferring from other buses, other customers prefer to drive and park. Metro decided to test the use of designated car share spaces at Northgate so that some spaces could more easily serve several different customers over the course of the day. Northgate also has the only Metro-owned park & ride lots within the current service area of the two current free floating car share operators in Seattle, car2go (SHARE NOW) and LimePod. Only car2go (SHARE NOW) is part of this pilot program.

The four designated parking stalls are located in the southwest corner of the East Park & Ride Lot of the Northgate Transit Center.

Open parking map

The designated parking spaces are first come, first serve. If the designated parking spaces are occupied, you may park in any general purpose parking space in one of the Northgate Transit Center park & rides. Alternatively, you may park in eligible on-street parking, per the parking rules of car2go (SHARE NOW).

Please call Metro Customer Service at 206-553-3000 as soon as possible so we may assist you.

No. Northgate park & rides are for transit customers only; users must transfer between the car share vehicle and a bus, Metro vanpool, or private carpool.

Currently, car2go (SHARE NOW) is the only free-floating car share company that has signed an agreement with Metro to use the public facility. LimePod does not currently have an agreement in place to park on Metro properties. Zipcar is not free-floating because it uses assigned parking locations.

The number of spaces remains the same, but this program’s intent is to increase the number of people who can use the designated parking spaces throughout the day in comparison to general use spaces. Additionally, Metro is dedicating spaces to car share vehicles to increase the number of ways customers can get to transit, including customers who don’t own a car and use car share as an alternative.

Green Lake Park & Ride is currently the only other park and ride within the coverage area for free floating car share operators in Seattle. Green Lake Park & Ride is owned by WSDOT and additional approvals would be required.

For car2go information and membership, please go to their website.

Metro extended the pilot to June 2020 to continue to test refinements to this parking program. Metro will continue to evaluate the program before deciding on next steps.

Stay tuned!


Initial Finding Report (Aug 2018)

This report explores the use of free-floating car share services as a first/last mile access mode to fixed route transit at park and ride facilities. Based on data collected by Metro during an ongoing car share parking pilot at Northgate park and ride, this report showcases the demand for free-floating car share as a mode of access to transit, its potential for increasing parking turnover, and the resulting usage patterns.

Early results indicate that, while this new type of access mode to transit can have a significant impact in complementing transit to facilitate car-free lifestyles, key policy questions need to be addressed in order to reassess the role of park and rides in this moment of change and innovation in the mobility landscape.

Open the report

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