Three Northgate park-and-ride lots will shut down later this month, making room for Link light rail construction.
Sound Transit said that with the loss of 329 parking spots they’ll be adding 450 more parking stalls in a new four-floor parking garage.
Knowing that parking is in high demand at Northgate, the transit agency will be offering reserved parking when the garage opens on Nov. 19. The parking will be free for carpools of two or more and $120 a month for single-passenger drivers, said Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason.
“We’re taking care to charge just the right fee that will be accessible to the everyday parking user,” said Reason.
Reason said the money collected by the parking fee will pay to manage the garage.
“We know parking demand at our facilities is growing. Northgate is a very high demand area,” Reason said.
If the reserved parking sells out quickly Sound Transit said they could increase the amount of paid parking available in the garage.
Mike Lambert had just gotten off a bus and was heading to his car when he told KOMO he wasn’t surprised paid parking was being made available in park-and-ride lots.
“Everybody is trying to get money somehow or another,” he said.
Lambert said that when he arrives in the park-and-ride lot during the week he’s usually one of the first there.
Stephen Grenley, another park-and-ride commuter, said charging for parking is “a terrible idea.”
“The park and rides are a good deal, the thing that helps us use the buses as much as we need to. But if we have to start paying for all of that parking out here, I might as well be driving into town.”
But Reason, from Sound Transit, said offering paid parking is a good option for someone who can’t get to a park-and-ride lot early.