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King County Metro experiments with paid Park and Ride

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by: Essex Porter

Buses are popular in West Seattle, but even committed bus riders say they can be hard to get to.

Bus rider Patty Valentine said, “It’s a mess, I mean right now people are having to walk and work. They have to park like six blocks away. You know and park and then come up (to the bus stops).”

And now a couple of park and ride lots on the Eastside are closing to accommodate light rail construction.

“We’re experiencing a lot of our park and rides filling up early in the morning, said Metro transportation planner Daniel Rowe.

Rowe told us he has spent three years working on a public-private partnership called Park by Transit.

Commuters can go online to select from 12 private lots near Metro bus stops that offer guaranteed park and ride spaces, for a price. But that means commuters would have to pay both for parking and the bus ride.

“Some people are driving all the way downtown today and paying upwards of $300 a month to park and they are going through the stress of that commute,” Rowe said. Some might find paying for a guaranteed spot would be cheaper and relieve the stress.

Commuters can find details and costs at parkbytransit.com. Parking is free of charge for the first month of membership.

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