Permit parking begins Feb. 3 at Issaquah Transit Center

January 28, 2014

By Peter Clark

Sound Transit will begin to provide parking options and limitations for the Issaquah Transit Center soon.

Decided upon last year by the Sound Transit board of directors, a pilot project will launch Feb. 3 reserving 183 parking spaces for vehicles with permits purchased through the regional system. It will leave 636 spaces unchanged.

“Because parking fills up quickly at many Sound Transit facilities, riders often tell us they are frustrated,” Sound Transit’s website reads. “To help regular transit riders have more certainty about finding a parking space during busy morning commute hours, in 2014 a permit parking option is being introduced at four of Sound Transit’s busiest stations.”

Permits will cost $33 per quarter and Sound Transit will offer them on a first-come, first-served basis as long as a rider can prove at least three transit trips per week from the facility. Violators parking in reserved spots without a permit will receive a warning the first time and have their cars towed if caught again.

“The idea is for regional transit riders and for us to make it more efficient for parking,” Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray said, highlighting the temporary nature of the pilot project. “We’ll roll it back in August and look at the response, see what the usage was and consider whether to make it permanent.”

While signs announcing the project are visible at the Issaquah Transit Center, off state Route 900, Gray said Sound Transit has not received a great deal of applications.

“The response on the high-occupancy vehicle side has been lower than expected,” he said. “We’ll keep the application period open and if we see those applications aren’t coming in, we’ll open some of these spots back up.”

He said enforcement would not require hiring more people; rather the agency will use those who already patrol the stations.

At this time, Gray said the money earned from purchased permits would only go to administrative costs. If Sound Transit decides to make the program permanent, however, he said it would most likely earmark funds to go toward parking implementation.

“But that’s pretty far down the road,” Gray said.

The Issaquah Transit Center will join the Mukilteo Station, the Sumner Station and the Tukwila International Boulevard Station in the program. The Issaquah Highlands Transit Center is unaffected.

Riders can apply for the permits at www.soundtransit.org/permitparking.

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