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 morning commute ends on weekdays. 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 is 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.
Optional Parking Permits
To make your commute easier, Pierce Transit may offer up to 200 optional, reserved parking permits to public transportation users who park their single-occupancy car, carpool or vanpool at the popular Tacoma Dome Station facility. A permit would give you priority parking access on weekdays during the morning rush hour. Permitted spots would be open to all parkers after 8 a.m. and on weekends (except during special events), and the remaining 2,200 free parking spots would remain open on a first-come, first-served basis as they are today.
Having the option of using permits for reserved parking can provide several benefits to public transportation users. By providing regular transit riders a reliable place to park, permits may provide 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. It would also align 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
Once the program begins, permit applicants would need to provide basic contact information and ORCA fare card numbers for each participant. To hold a permit, riders must average three days of transit ridership per week (12 days per month) on a bus, vanpool or Sounder train. ORCA usage records will be checked to verify regular transit ridership.
High-Occupancy Vehicle driver parking permits
If approved, the Tacoma Dome Station would offer a reserved parking permit option on weekdays during the morning rush hours for vanpools and carpool groups of two or more. Vanpool and carpool groups must register for a permit but would not pay a monthly fee. Once a permit is issued, ORCA fare payment records will be checked to verify regular transit ridership. At least two Vanpool/carpool members must average three days of ridership per week (12 days per month) to qualify for monthly permit renewals.
Single-Occupancy (solo) Vehicle driver parking permits
If approved, the Tacoma Dome Station would offer a reserved parking permit option for people driving alone. Solo driver parking permit holders would have reserved parking on weekdays during the morning rush hours. Single-Occupancy Vehicle drivers could apply for a monthly permit and would pay a fee similar to market-rate parking prices, currently proposed at $80 per month. On weekends, holidays and after 8 a.m. on weekdays, available spaces in permit parking areas may be used by all on a “first-come, first-served” basis. To qualify for permit renewals, the solo driver must average three days of transit ridership per week (12 days per month) which will be verified using ORCA fare payment records.
Discounted permit pricing for ORCA LIFT qualified transit riders
Under the proposed 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 King County Metro Transit ORCA LIFT transit pass.
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.
HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle)
SOV (Single-Occupancy Vehicle)
ORCA-LIFT SOV (Reduced Fare)
|FREE for 2+ riders arriving together||$80 per month||$27 per month|
|Incentive to encourage ridesharing||Market rate||Priced at 1/3 of regular SOV permit|
|Riders in carpool must have ORCA card||Rider must have ORCA card||Rider must have ORCA-LIFT card|
|2+ riders must take 12 transit trips per month||Rider must take 12 transit trips per month||Rider must take 12 transit trips per month (ORCA-LIFT is not valid on PT service)|
Why is Pierce Transit considering a change to the way parking is managed at the Tacoma Dome Station?+
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 now 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 is exploring 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 Pierce Transit proposing to offer?+
During the weekday peak morning commute hours of 4:00 am through 8:00 am, Pierce Transit is proposing to 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 is proposing to offer high occupancy vehicle (HOV) parking permit to vehicles arriving at the facility with 2 or more passengers.
For single occupant vehicles (SOV), an option to purchase a reserved parking spot is being proposed.
How much would a monthly permit cost?+
HOV parking permits would be offered free of charge.
SOV parking permits would be offered at the market rate of parking lots in the near vicinity. The cost of an SOV permit is initially being proposed at $80 dollars per month.
Would there be a discounted permit rate for low-income riders?+
Yes. SOV parking permits would be offered for $27 dollars per month. This is a 66 percent discount to riders that are eligible for and hold a King County Metro Transit or Sound Transit ORCA-LIFT transit pass and who use the service s of those transit systems 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:
King County Metro Transit ORCA LIFT CLICK HERE
Sound Transit ORCA LIFT CLICK HERE
Are there other requirements to participate in the parking permit program?+
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 monthly transit trips (an average of 3 times per week) on a Pierce Transit bus, 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 in the group must meet this threshold.
How will Pierce Transit know if the minimum number of transit trips are taken each month?+
Permit holders will be required to use an ORCA card on all transit trips. Monthly usage data from ORCA card will be reviewed to verify the number of transit trips taken.
What happens if I go on vacation?+
The program provides two months each calendar year in which a permit group may go below the required transit trip threshold.
How many parking spots will be made available for permit parking?+
The proposal is to dedicate 200 reserved parking spots (150 single occupancy and 50 high occupancy), which represent 8.4 percent of the overall 2,400 spots in the garage.
Do I have to purchase a permit to park in the Tacoma Dome Station?+
No. Permits would be optional. Those without a permit can use the reserved spots for free after 8:00 am on weekdays and all day on weekends. 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?+
Yes. Both Sound Transit and King County Metro use the same model that Pierce Transit is proposing at parking facilities with high demand.
Additional ResourcesProgram Guidelines
Title VI Equity Analysis