Every year, thousands of Seattle commuters get to work using a van or carpool. Not driving single occupancy vehicles helps reduce congestion and carbon emissions – as well as being a convenient way to save on commuting costs.
But, the fee for a Vanpool parking permit hasn’t been updated in over 20 years, and has not kept up with rising costs for carpool parking or administering the program. To align these costs, and ensure the financial viability of the Vanpool program, the Seattle City Council approved a schedule for permit fee increases over the next three years.
So, is the price going up? Yes. Are Vanpool on-street parking permits still significantly cheaper than carpool or private parking? Absolutely!
Here’s the permit fee increase schedule for on-street Vanpool parking:
|Location||2017 fee per month||2018 fee per month||2019 fee per month|
|Central Business District (CBD)||$66.67||$133.33||$200|
We understand this represents a cost increase for Vanpool commuters, but it is important to note that Vanpool parking rates have not kept up as carpool and private parking fees increased significantly.
For a 5-person vanpool in the CBD, a rider’s parking cost in 2017 will increase from $0.33 per month to $13.33 per month. In 2019, each rider would pay $40 per month. In contrast, for a 2-person carpool in the CBD, each rider today pays $100 per month. And for a 5-person Vanpool parking off street in private lots or garages, which most do, fees are currently $300-$400 per month, or $60-80 per month per person.
It’s also important to note that 5 people is just the minimum required for a Vanpool. If you filled a Vanpool to capacity at 15 people, the permit fee per person would be just $4.44 in 2017, or $13.33 in 2019!
Of the over 800 Vanpools currently in use in Seattle, the vast majority park off-street in private lots or garages, and only about 70 park on-street and will be impacted by this fee increase.
We remain committed to Vanpooling, as well as other forms of shared transportation and transit. As our city grows, it’s increasingly important alternative forms of commuting are easy and attractive. To join a Vanpool, or start your own, check out the King County Metro page.