Park-and-ride use still low, but growing

Some popular lots were more than half full last year

With many people continuing to work from home in 2021, there were plenty of empty spaces at the region’s park-and-rides.

Occupancy had been at 76% before the pandemic; in 2021 it plummeted to 19%. But PSRC’s latest Puget Sound Trend finds that park-and-ride use is ticking up again.

The region has 45,210 park-and-ride stalls. Last year, cars and vanpools occupied about 8,500 of those spaces.

Park-and-ride lots serve the riders of transit agencies around the region: Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit. They also provide a meeting place for vanpools and carpools.

Areas that experienced the biggest drops in occupancy since the pandemic were East King County (down 9% from 2020) and Snohomish County (down 8%). Kitsap was the only county that experienced an increase (2%).

Growth in park-and-ride use since the pandemic

When looking at the full 12 months, park-and-ride use was higher in 2020 than in 2021. But there’s more to the story.

The pre-pandemic months of January to March 2020 skew the annual statistics. When those months are excluded, lot use was higher in 2021 than 2020.

All the transit agencies listed below have reported increases in park-and-ride use. Kitsap Transit lots had the strongest resurgence, with nearly a quarter of their spaces (24%) filled in 2021. Pierce Transit was not far behind (23%).

Some popular lots remained over half full

Although the pandemic put a damper on park-and-ride use, a few lots stayed busy. For example, the Puyallup Train Station lot was at 73% occupancy last year.

Most-Used Park-and-Ride Lots by Service Areas, 2021
Includes only permanent lots with more than 50% utilization

  • East King County: Evergreen Point Bridge, Overlake P&R
  • North King County: Northgate TC Extension, Green Lake (I-5/NE 65th St)
  • South King County: Olson Place SW/Myers Way
  • Kitsap County: Mullenix Road P&R
  • Pierce County: Puyallup Train Station, Sumner Train Station
  • Snohomish County: Stanwood I

Least-Used Park-and-Ride Lots by Service Areas, 2021
Includes only permanent lots with less than 10% utilization

  • East King County: Issaquah Highlands P&R, Woodinville P&R, North Bend P&R, SR 908/Kirkland Way, Houghton P&R, Issaquah Transit Center, South Sammamish P&R, Tibbetts Lot
  • North King County: Northgate Station Garage
  • South King County: Kent/James Street, Ober Park, South Federal Way P&R, Burien Transit Center, Redondo Heights P&R, Valley Center, Federal Way/S 320th St, Lake Meridian/East Kent, SW Spokane St, Twin Lakes
  • Pierce County: Roy “Y”, South Tacoma West, Parkland Transit Center, 72nd St Transit Center, South Purdy P&R
  • Snohomish County: Snohomish P&R, Edmonds Station, Mountlake Terrace Interim Park & Ride, Swamp Creek, Freeborn Park and Ride, Edmonds P&R, Stanwood II, Cypress Semiconductor, Eastmont P&R, Monroe P&R, Sultan, Edmonds Station Leased Lot Salish Crossings, Gold Bar

Get the full story in the new Puget Sound Trend.