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Increasingly in the Puget Sound region, parking demand exceeds supply at public park & ride lots serving busy transit centers. Building more parking in these areas can be an expensive and controversial endeavor and does not generally help to create walkable, affordable communities. Existing parking spaces outside of park & ride lots, especially ones in multifamily buildings, may offer a way to increase transit parking without the need to construct costly new facilities. Many residents at mulitfamily buildings are going to work (and vacating their spots in the building) at the same time as transit users are seeking parking.

Who will benefit?  FAQ

About the project

King County Metro received a grant funded by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Value Pricing Pilot Program to explore opportunities for market-priced park & ride spaces at mulitfamily developments near high capacity transit services. The project seeks to provide better access to transit through expanding park & ride spaces near high quality transit service. The project will involve data collection, stakeholder interviews, and assessment of barriers and opportunities, all of which will contribute to the development of viable business models that can be tested in future pilot programs.

Highly utilized park & rides that can fill up early in the morning introduce a level of uncertainty to a user wishing to park there as there are not enough spaces to meet demand every day. The ability to reserve a space at or near busy lots could enhance the reliability of transit as a commute option—beyond improving access through increasing the number of spaces available, predictability improvements are a key opportunity related to the project. For more details, please see the list of deliverables or read the project's scope of work.

Contact us

Metro Transit Division
King County Department of Transportation
201 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3856

Daniel Rowe
Market Development, Service Development
Send Daniel an email
or call 206-477-5788

Who will benefit?

Many people stand to benefit from the project in the future—here are a few profiles illustrating how the project may benefit individuals and the broader community:

Someone who can't arrive at a P&R early in the day

A number of lots that are in especially high demand can fill up early in the day, making it difficult for someone who arrives later to know if they will be able to park at one of these facilities. Many shift and wage jobs do not offer scheduling flexibility so coming early to beat the rush isn't always a viable option.

This program would increase the number of spaces available to Park & Ride users and may offer the ability to reserve a space, giving a predictability and reliability that isn't present in first-come first-serve lots.

Someone whose route isn't near a P&R in their area

Park & Rides tend to be located so users have a variety of options for high frequency and high quality transit, but not all routes can stop at major facilities. This program could offer a more diverse range of choices to help commuters pick commute options that make the most sense for them. Whether it's driving a shorter distance, avoiding traffic, or just a preferable bus route, more choice is good for Park & Ride customers!

Someone managing a mulitfamily building

Parking is expensive to build and often those costs are passed on to residents in buildings. As a parking manager in a partner building, you have the opportunity to better leverage your existing assets including the possibility of passing on savings to tenants, investing in improvements, providing innovative amenities like ORCA transit passes for residents, and generally making your building more competitive in the housing market.

Local civic impact

Busy commuters on their way to work need coffee and bagels like the rest of us! More people using transit in your neighborhood could mean a more vibrant pedestrian scene and more customers for local businesses. People walking in the morning from the partner buildings to their transit stop and back in the afternoon means more opportunities for the local economy to thrive.

Transit agencies

This project will allow transit agencies to serve their customers better. By providing customers with more options for where they catch the bus and when they travel, agencies can spread out 'crush loads' and keep service running smoothly and quickly. By utilizing existing parking spaces instead of building new ones, transit agencies can serve more people without investing heavily in new facilities. This project allows King County to minimize the spatial and financial costs of new lots while serving more people at the same time.

Property recruitment

King County Metro has partnered with Diamond Parking to implement a new innovative multi-family park and ride program that allows building owners to generate income by offering parking in buildings with vacant spaces. Metro is now seeking property owners to participate in this pilot project.

King County Metro vetted this idea with building owners, property managers and other market participants. This vetting process identified and resolved a number of potential issues and helped to shape the design of the program.

Who can participate?

Suitable properties for participation have a number of property characteristics:

  • Building Type: Multi-family or Mixed-Use (with residential component)
  • Location: King County – Within a quarter mile of frequent transit service or Park-and-Rides.
  • Parking Type: Garage or Surface
  • Parking Spaces: 10+ spaces (Must be available either 24/7 or 8am-6pm)
  • Timing: Immediate (For first-quarter 2017 program start)
  • Other: Sites with safe, secure, and adequate lighting, a safe pedestrian connection

Who do I contact?

If you’re interested in learning more about this project, please contact Daniel Rowe at 206-477-5788 or by sending an email.

Frequently asked questions

The key benefit to participating in this program is that it allows you to generate income from your vacant parking spaces. The amount of income depends on a number of factors, but feedback from P&R focus group participants found that people are generally willing to pay between $44 and $110 per month for a guaranteed P&R parking space.

The required upfront investment depends on a number of factors, including the building’s site layout and existing access controls; however, the program aims to start with properties that require minimal, if any, upfront investment.

Your main responsibility is to provide parking that meets the program's requirements. King County Metro will market the program to P&R users. Diamond Parking Service will provide customers a way to find, reserve, purchase, and access the parking spaces, as well as manage parking access and security as needed.

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