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PARKING AT TACOMA DOME STATION

We know it can sometimes be a challenge to find parking at popular Park & Ride lots. That is especially true at Tacoma Dome Station, where the nearly 2,400 parking spots are often filled before the end of the weekday morning commute. The current “first-come-first-served’ system now in place often results in over-crowding on early morning trains and buses, and commuters arriving later in the morning have limited, if any, access to transit parking.

In response to increased parking demand, Pierce Transit has been exploring options to manage parking supply and increase rider access to regional transit service. One way to do this is to encourage people to carpool to the Park & Ride. Another is to offer an option to people who have later work, school or appointment schedules. Pierce Transit has studied the idea of offering a pilot, optional, reserved parking permit program at Tacoma Dome Station. The agency has gathered input from transit passengers at Tacoma Dome Station, the public, and many groups and organizations. A public hearing was held on the plan on March 11, 2019. On April 8, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners approved implementing this pilot program.

Optional reserved parking permits will be available June 1, 2019, and reserved parking begins July 1, 2019. After the program has been operating for several months, data will be reviewed, and program adjustments may be made, if needed.

Optional Parking Permits

To make your commute easier, Pierce Transit will offer up to 200 optional, reserved parking permits to public transportation users who park their single-occupancy or carpool vehicle at the popular Tacoma Dome Station facility. A permit will give you dedicated parking access on weekdays during the morning rush hours of 4am-8am. Permitted spots will be open to all parkers after 8 a.m. and on weekends (except during special events), and the remaining 2,200 free parking spots will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis as they have been in the past. During special events, all those parking in the garage must pay the special event fee, and the permitted spots have no reserved status.

Benefits

Having the option of using permits for reserved parking can provide several benefits to public transportation users. Permits provide regular transit riders a reliable place to park, offering commuters an opportunity to do other things in the morning, such as dropping off kids for childcare and school, or stopping for errands, rather than arriving at the parking facility much earlier than necessary. Permits may also improve transit operations by more evenly spreading out demand for space on buses and trains throughout the morning rush hour, providing a more comfortable transit commute. This pilot program also aligns Pierce Transit with other transit systems that are already offering reserved parking at Park & Ride facilities in the region.

How the Optional Permit Parking Program Works

The program will be managed and enforced by Diamond Parking Services. When the pilot begins, applicants will visit Diamond Parking's website to get permit. For customer service or to apply for a permit by phone, call Diamond Parking at 1-800-828-4197. 

The following three types of monthly permits will be offered:




HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle)

SOV (Single-Occupancy Vehicle)

ORCA-LIFT SOV (Reduced Fare)

 FREE for 2+ riders arriving at the facility together

 $80 per month $27 per month
Incentive to encourage ridesharing

Rider must have ORCA card
Rider must have ORCA-LIFT card
Riders in carpool must have ORCA card or be registered in a Pierce Transit Vanpool

Rider must take 12 transit trips per month
Rider must take 12 transit trips per month (ORCA-LIFT is not valid on PT service)
2+ riders must take 12 transit trips per month


To hold a permit, parkers must ride a bus, vanpool or Sounder train from the station at least 12 times per month. ORCA fare card numbers or Vanpool ID numbers must be provided by each person named on a permit, to allow for verification of the transit ride requirement. If the requirement is not met, a permit will not be renewed for the following month. Permit holders must also reside within the Pierce Transit Benefit area. Click HERE to see if your address is within the boundary.


High-Occupancy Vehicle driver parking permits

The Tacoma Dome Station will offer a reserved parking permit option on weekdays during the morning rush hours for vehicles with 2 or more people arriving at the garage together, who then take a bus, vanpool or Sounder train to complete their commute. The driver of these groups must register for a permit but would not pay a monthly fee. At least one additional passenger in the arriving vehicle must be listed on the permit application. Once a permit is issued, ORCA fare payment and/or Vanpool records will be checked to verify regular transit ridership. At least two arriving vehicle members must take at least 12 verifiable transit trips in a rolling 30 day period to qualify for monthly permit renewals. If monthly transit ridership requirements are not met, or carpool permit holders park alone in violation of vehicle occupancy requirements, permits may be revoked.

Single-Occupancy (solo) Vehicle driver parking permits

The Tacoma Dome Station will offer a reserved parking permit option for people arriving at the garage alone, who then take a bus, vanpool or Sounder train to complete their commute. Solo driver parking permit holders will have reserved parking on weekdays during the morning rush hours. Single-Occupancy Vehicle drivers can apply for a monthly permit and will pay $80 per month. The solo driver must take at least twelve verifiable transit trips in a rolling 30 day month to qualify for permit renewals; trips will be verified using ORCA fare payment and/or Vanpool records.

Discounted permit pricing for ORCA LIFT qualified transit riders

Under the pilot program, those qualified for ORCA LIFT could also purchase a solo driver ORCA LIFT permit at a reduced price of $27 per month. This is a 66 percent discount for riders that are eligible for and hold a Sound Transit ORCA LIFT transit pass. Transit trip requirements also apply and are the same as a regular SOV permit.

Click here to find out if you’re eligible for ORCA LIFT, and the nearest location to enroll and get your card. Note that ORCA LIFT is not a Pierce Transit program and ORCA LIFT is not a valid local Pierce Transit fare media.

FAQ's

  • Why did Pierce Transit consider a change to the way parking is managed at the Tacoma Dome Station?

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    As more people use transit, our customers tell us that it’s getting harder to find spaces at Tacoma Dome Station. Of the nearly 2,400 parking spots, most are filled before the morning commute ends on weekdays. The current “first-come-first-served’ system that has been in place often results in over-crowding at lots and on early morning trains and buses, and commuters arriving later in the morning have limited, if any, access to transit parking.

    In response to increased parking demand, Pierce Transit has explored options to manage parking supply and strives to increase rider access to regional transit service. One way to do this is to encourage people to carpool to the park and ride. Another is to offer an option to people with later work, school, or appointment schedules.

  • What parking permit options are available?

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    During the weekday peak morning commute hours of 4:00 am through 8:00 am, Pierce Transit will offer transit riders the option of requesting monthly parking permits to reserve a parking spot, providing flexibility in arrival times at the garage.

    To encourage carpooling to the parking facility, Pierce Transit will offer high occupancy vehicle (HOV) parking permits to vehicles arriving at the facility with 2 or more passengers.

    For single occupant vehicles (SOV), an option to purchase a reserved parking spot will be offered.

  • How much will a monthly permit cost?

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    HOV parking permits will be offered free of charge.

    SOV parking permits will be offered at the market rate of parking lots in the near vicinity. The cost of an SOV permit is initially being offered at $80 per month.

  • Will there be a discounted permit rate for low-income riders?

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    Yes. SOV parking permits will be offered for $27 per month. This is a 66 percent discount to riders that are eligible for and hold a Sound Transit ORCA LIFT transit pass and who use the services of Sound Transit to meet permit parking eligibility requirements. Note that ORCA LIFT is not a Pierce Transit program and ORCA LIFT is not a valid local Pierce Transit fare media. For more information about ORCA LIFT passes, visit the following websites:

    Sound Transit ORCA LIFT CLICK HERE

  • Are there other requirements to participate in the parking permit program?

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    Yes. Because goals of the program are to improve parking availability, increase transit ridership, and improve transit access to riders, there is a requirement to take at least 12 verifiable transit trips in a 30 day rolling period on a Pierce Transit bus or Vanpool, Sound Transit bus, or Sounder train. This requirement must be met in order to maintain eligibility for a monthly parking permit. For HOV permits, at least two passengers carpooling to the garage must meet this threshold. Permit holders must also live within the Pierce Transit Benefit Area. CLICK HERE to see the district boundary and to verify your address.

  • How will Pierce Transit know if the minimum number of transit trips are taken each month?

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    Monthly usage data from your ORCA card or Vanpool records will be reviewed to verify the number of transit trips taken.

  • What happens if I go on vacation?

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    The program provides two months each calendar year in which a permit holder may go below the required transit trip threshold.

  • How many parking spots will be made available for permit parking?

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    The pilot program will dedicate up to 200 spots for reserved parking, which represent 8.4 percent of the overall 2,400 spots in the garage. Issuance of HOV parking permits will be prioritized over SOV permits.

  • Where will the permit parking spots be located?

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    The initial spots will be in the east garage on the fourth floor.

  • Do I have to purchase a permit to park in the Tacoma Dome Station?

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    No. Permits will be optional. Those without a permit can use the reserved spots for free after 8:00 am on weekdays and all day on weekends (except while special event parking fees are collected from all parkers). Additionally, those without a permit can continue to park in one of the 2,200 non-reserved spots on a first-come, first-served basis as they do today.

  • Do other transit systems in the region offer permit parking?

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    Yes. Both Sound Transit and King County Metro use a model similar to the one Pierce Transit is implementing at Tacoma Dome Station.

Additional Resources

Program Guidelines
Title VI Equity Analysis
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Trip Planner Help

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Landmarks

Government Sites: Pierce County Health Dept, Pierce Co Sheriffs Office, Tacoma City Hall

Major Commercial Sites: Tacoma Mall, Sheraton Hotel

Transportation Facilities: Sea-Tac Airport, Greyhound Bus Depot

Schools & Colleges: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College

Sports & Leisure: Cheney Stadium, Pt Defiance Zoo

Medical Facilities: Group Health, Tacoma General Hospital


 

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