Reserved parking spaces for both solo drivers and those who carpool could be on the way to the Tacoma Dome Station.
The two garages serve people who use local and regional mass transit, including Pierce Transit’s local routes, Intercity Transit and Sound Transit express buses, Link light rail into downtown Tacoma, the Sounder South train, Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses.
A proposal to be presented at the Feb. 11 Pierce Transit board meeting recommends 8.4 percent of the parking stalls be reserved (150 for solo drivers and 50 for high-occupancy vehicles including vanpool vans) with 2,193 stalls available for general parking.
The plan allows for the CEO “to manage demand and a wait list by having the authority to change the percentage and adjust rates,” according to Rebecca Japhet, communications manager for Pierce Transit.
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The permit parking hours would be Monday-Friday, 4 a.m. to 8 a.m., with the permitted slots open to all after 8 a.m. All parking spots would be open on weekends.
In the proposal, permits would be free for carpoolers (including vanpools) with two or more riders if those riders have ORCA cards and if at least two of them take at least 12 transit trips per month.
Permits for solo drivers would cost $80 per month and require an ORCA card and at least 12 transit trips a month. A reduced permit fare of $27 a month for solo drivers would be available to ORCA-LIFT cardholders who take 12 transit trips a month.
Money from the permits would go toward the program’s cost and to help maintain Tacoma Dome Station.
“The work has included upgraded LED lighting, repaired concrete, a freshly painted interior and exterior and elevator work,” Japhet told The News Tribune via email.
According to Japhet: “This reserved parking option would give people more certainty and flexibility in finding a parking spot, thus making transit trips more appealing. It would also improve transit operations by more evenly spreading out demand for space on transit trips throughout the morning rush hour, rather than having everyone arrive together at an early hour to get a spot.”
A public hearing is planned for March. If the plan gets board approval, it could be adopted in April with the program starting in June.
The proposal comes after results from an October survey that asked commuters for their thoughts on reserved parking spaces at the garages.
The agency said it received close to 700 responses.
Most of the respondents were from Tacoma; 86 were from outlying towns. The majority, 85 percent, said they use Sound Transit services (bus, Sounder or Tacoma Link), with 79 percent using transit 12 or more days a month.
When asked if 25 percent of the stalls should be set aside for reserved parking, half the respondents said that was too many; 21 percent said that was not enough and 26 percent said it was the right amount.
The top three goals respondents picked for a parking management program: Ensure open parking space by managing demand; encourage riders to bike, walk or carpool to transit; and recover the cost of managing and enforcing the program.
In terms of what type of permit parking option, 41 percent picked “cost recovery,” but 42 percent picked either “other, no response,” (13 percent) or “free” (29 percent).
Meeting dates, times
▪ The proposed permit plan for the Tacoma Dome Station will be presented as part of the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners’ monthly meeting 4 p.m. Feb. 11 at Pierce Transit’s Training Center, Rainier Room, 3720 96th St. SW, Lakewood. The meeting includes a public comment period. UPDATE FEB. 11: Meeting canceled because of inclement weather.
▪ A public hearing on the proposed permit parking plan will take place as part of the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners’ monthly meeting 4 p.m. March 11 at Pierce Transit’s Training Center, Rainier Room, 3720 96th St. SW, Lakewood.
▪ Comments also can be sent to PTCustomer@piercetransit.org.
▪ More information: https://www.piercetransit.org/board-meetings/