Paid parking could be coming to Tacoma Dome Station

TACOMA, Wash. - As our region continues to grow, so does the interest in public transit to get around, but before people get on a train, the battle to find a parking spot begins.

Pierce County is looking for public input to make a portion of their parking spaces at the Tacoma Dome Station paid reserved spaces.

It’s the region’s largest transit hub, the Tacoma Dome Station is where people can catch the bus, the Sounder Train, Link Light Rail, Amtrak and Greyhound buses to get around Puget Sound.

“The parking lot is great if you get here on time,” said commuter Devron Knowles.

He says it’s a gamble to find a parking spot in one of the two garages before catching his train to work at SeaTac Airport.

“I’ve been lucky a few times where I have circled all the way to the top and all the way back down and someone leaves and I have a spot down below,” said Knowles.

With 2,400 parking spaces in two garages at the transit station, Pierce Transit says by 7 a.m. 90% of the spaces are already taken.

“Sometimes never, you can never find a spot sometimes, and I’ll just have to drive into work,” said Knowles.

That’s why Rebecca Japhet with Pierce Transit says they’re taking public comment to gauge whether creating reserved paid spots would appeal to commuters.

“This is sort of a regional strategy, a lot of agencies are looking to reserved parking,” said Japhet.

In King County, Metro and Sound Transit already offer reserved spaces for carpool commuters at nine park and rides around the country, costing as little as $5 per month.

In Pierce County, Japhet says they’re considering permit spaces for carpoolers and solo drivers.

“It might be market rate, probably a carpool amount, versus a single occupancy amount,” said Japhet.

The idea is something Knowles says may appeal to a select crowd.

“Maybe a business person who needs to be there on time, maybe, but for me, I’m a little more flexible with my schedule,” said Knowles.

Pierce County Transit is taking public comment through the end of the month online and in person.