Frequently asked questions
As more people use transit, our customers tell us it’s getting harder to find spaces at many of our park & rides.
Of the 54 permanent park & rides Metro operates, half are at 80 percent capacity or higher, and some fill up completely before the morning commute ends. In addition to being inconvenient, the “first-come-first-served” system now in place is unfair for people with later work, school, or appointment schedules.
In response to increased demand, Metro is currently exploring a range of options to both manage and expand parking supply. One way to do this is to encourage people to carpool to the park & ride. In February 2017 we launched a pilot program at seven of our busiest park & rides that will offer free carpool parking permits to regular transit riders. On November 1st, 2017 we expanded this program to an additional nine park & rides
In return for signing up, carpool permit holders will have reserved parking until 8:30 AM, after which time the stalls will be available for all transit riders.
Permits can be obtained through Republic Parking Northwest, and must be renewed monthly. Groups of two or more commuters who regularly carpool to park & rides and catch the bus or meet a vanpool or another carpool are eligible. 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, but at least two carpool permit holders must maintain 12 days of ridership per month (an average of three days per week) in order to stay qualified.
The U-Pass is an ORCA card and the 8-digit number on the back is the ORCA card number.
Yes. This pilot carpool parking program is strictly voluntary, and the permits for carpool users are free. Our partner agency Sound Transit also offers carpool permits and reserved parking for $5 per month.
We don't plan to start charging for carpool permits. We have proposed a paid permit parking program for single-occupant vehicles at some of its highest utilization parking facilities. If this program is approved by the King County Council, we will provide more information and transit customers will have an opportunity to comment on details of the program prior to implementation in 2019.
These lots are managed by Metro and are regularly 90% or more full by early in the morning on weekdays.
- Eastgate P&R: 4th floor of the garage, near the pedestrian bridge
- Issaquah Highlands P&R: First floor of the garage, west side (closest to 9th Ave NE)
- Northgate Transit Center: In the East lot, the row closest to the boarding area
- Redmond Transit Center: First floor of the garage, to the left of the entrance
- South Kirkland P&R: First floor of the garage, middle row
- South Renton P&R: Parking spots immediately behind the boarding islands
- Kingsgate P&R: Southeast section of the parking lot.
- Green Lake P&R: South of 65th Street, near 65th street.
- Wilburton P&R: Northeast section of parking lot.
- Tukwila P&R: Southeast section of parking lot, near Interurban Avenue between the gas station and 52nd Avenue S.
- Kenmore P&R: Southwest section of parking lot.
- Aurora Village P&R: Southeast corner of parking lot near the tree line and bus bays.
- Bear Creek P&R: Southwest side of parking lot near bus bays.
- Bothell P&R: Northeast corner of the parking lot near Kaysner Way entrance and tree-line.
- Renton Metropolitan Place: In the garage near stalls 17-26.
Areas reserved for permits will start small and expand if demand for permits grows. No more than 50% of each lot will be set aside during the pilot.
Stalls that are not marked for permits will be available first-come, first-served for any driver using transit. After 8:30 AM, carpool permit spaces also will be available to any driver using transit.
Reserved carpool permit stalls become available to all transit users at 8:30 AM and on weekends. Additionally, the number of reserved stalls is regularly adjusted to reflect usage by permit holders.
Metro’s long range plan, Metro Connects, calls for us to expand parking for transit riders by 60 percent. It also calls for us to invest equally in an integrated network of transportation alternatives, including non-motorized connections, bike parking, car sharing, private shuttles, and on-demand car services like taxis, Uber, and Lyft. And it calls for us to support demand management of our existing parking resources.
We also expanding our leased-lot program to add new park & rides by partnering with churches and other organizations that could offer more parking.
Enforcement began on February 1st, 2017 at Redmond, Northgate, Eastgate, South Kirkland, Issaquah Highlands and South Renton. On November 1st enforcement will expand to Renton Transit Center, Wilburton, Aurora Village, Bothell, Tukwila, Bear Creek, Green Lake, Kingsgate and Kenmore. Enforcement will occur during morning rush hours from 4:00 AM to 8:30 AM. After 8:30 AM and on weekends, permit spaces become available to everyone.
If enforcement staff find a violation of the carpool permit parking rules and regulations they will issue a warning. Warnings do not have a monetary fine that needs to be paid. If the same vehicle receives two warnings for the same violation, the third will result in a tow. There is an appeals process if you feel you have received an unwarranted warning notice or tow. For more information or to make an appeal, please contact Republic Parking at:
- 206-783-4144 EXT 124
- Republic Parking Northwest
200 West Mercer, Suite 103
Seattle, WA 98119
The program provides two months each calendar year in which a permit group may go below the required ridership due to a vacation.
Sound Transit kicked off a carpool parking program last fall at nine area park & rides after completing their own public outreach campaign and pilot program. Sound Transit’s permits cost $5 per month. Metro’s program was designed to be integrated with Sound Transit’s program, but during this pilot program our carpool parking permits will be free of charge.
Permits are good at the following Metro park & rides: Redmond, Issaquah Highlands, South Kirkland, South Renton, Northgate, Eastgate, Renton Transit Center, Wilburton, Aurora Village, Bothell, Tukwila, Bear Creek, Green Lake, Kingsgate and Kenmore.
Find out more about the program and more FAQ here.