SEATTLE -- King County Metro has a new idea for solving parking problems for transit riders.
Metro and Diamond Parking are partnering on a pilot program asking owners of multi-family residential buildings to rent out their parking spaces to riders.
Metro called the multi-family park and ride program “innovative.” Officials said it allows property owners to generate income with vacant spaces.
“We have Airbnb and Uber and all these things where we are sharing resources. This is kind of the same model,” said Gary Prince, a project manager for King County Metro.
To participate in the program, each building will have to offer at least 20 spaces for rent. They must be in King County and within a quarter mile of frequent Metro stops or park-and-rides.
“Many of our park and rides are full and so we don’t have the resources to build those expensive spaces,” said Prince.
Metro is currently recruiting building owners for their program, which starts early next year. The goal is to have 500 spaces available for monthly rent.
Metro hopes the pilot program draws commuters who are tired of paying high parking rates downtown who would instead pay cheaper rates to park closer to home and bus in.
Pricing for riders wanting to rent a parking space has not been released, but a recent study suggested they would be willing to pay between $44 and $110 per month.
But not Dominic Dumas, a commuter who uses the Northgate Park-and-Ride.
“As far as people having to pay, that part of it, that isn’t super exciting to me. I like free things,” he said.
Metro thinks this will help those who cannot get to the busy park-and-rides early to compete for spots.