CHOKEPOINTS

Sound Transit expands parking permit program… for a price

Oct 3, 2019, 6:39 AM | Updated: 9:54 am
Sound Transit light rail parking...
Finding parking for link light rail can be difficult. (Sound Transit)
(Sound Transit)

Sound Transit is about a year into providing parking passes at some of its lots, and the program is expanding once again.

Sound Transit’s Federal Way light rail project is millions over budget

Sound Transit started by offering free parking passes for confirmed carpoolers at some lots. As anyone who has tried to find parking at a Sound Transit parking lot knows, there can be nothing left after 7 a.m. For people who have later shifts or have to drop kids at school before catching a train, that can be a real inconvenience.

The agency has since opened-up solo driver parking passes at some lots as well, but those precious spaces will cost you.

“The prices vary by station,” Sound Transit’s Scott Thompson said.

Most Sounder station passes will cost you $60. Other lots are as much as $90. ORCA/LIFT card users get a significant discount, but Sound Transit checks to make sure you’re using you card enough each month to qualify for a pass.

The agency saves up to 50 percent of each lot for permit users, but those spots are only good for a certain period of time each day.

“Those SOV permits are only available for folks up until 8 a.m. at Sounder stations and 9 a.m. at the link and transit centers,” Thompson said.

Sound Transit just opened up solo driver parking passes at the Kent Sounder station and the Federal Way Transit Center. You can start registering for them Thursday. There will be about 15 lots allowing these permits by the end of the year.

Sound Transit now offering VIP parking passes

So far, Thompson said, the results of this permitting program have been mixed. There is a ton of demand at the south Sounder stations, not so much at the north end stations, and the light rail station demand is hot and cold.

“The link stations have seen not as much of a robust sales as some of the Sounder stations,” he said. “Link has more availability throughout the day so there may not be as much of a desire a permitted space there, as you do on Sounder.

King County Metro also has a carpool parking permit system at more than a dozen of its lots. It about to roll-out its own solo driver parking permit program at nine of its busiest lots in either November or December. Metro’s permits will cost between 20 and 90 dollars, depending on the lot and your use of the ORCA/LIFT program.

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Sound Transit expands parking permit program… for a price