New reserved permit-parking option available for Mercer Island Park-and-Ride lot and Issaquah Transit Center

Parking areas reserved for permit holders on weekday mornings until 9 a.m. at both locations

Publish Date

Starting December 2, riders who park and take transit from the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride lot or the Issaquah Transit Center will be able to purchase a new single-occupant vehicle (SOV) parking permit or sign up for a free carpool parking permit that goes into effect in January. 

SOV and carpool permits will give riders access to reserved parking areas at both locations beginning January 2. Mercer Island and Issaquah permit holders will have access to reserved areas until 9 a.m. on weekdays. At Mercer Island, SOV permits are available for a monthly fee of $120, with a discounted rate of $40 per month for riders who are eligible for ORCA Lift reduced fares. At the Issaquah Transit Center, SOV permits will be available for a $60 monthly fee, with a discounted rate of $20 for riders eligible for ORCA Lift reduced fares. Prices were set based on market rates in the surrounding areas.

The park-and-ride lots will have permit-parking areas reserved exclusively for permit holders arriving during weekday morning rush hours. The size of the permit area at each location will be set based on the number of permits purchased and issued each month, but will not exceed 50% of the spaces at either station. All unpermitted parking spaces will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available in any unused permit spaces after 9 a.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends and federal holidays at both locations.

On weekdays, both the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride and Issaquah Transit Center parking lots often fill well before 8 a.m. These permit options provide a reliable way for riders who are not able to arrive so early to find parking, ensuring their access to transit. For example, those who need to care for their children before they can leave or people who start work later. The intent is to serve the same number of customers, but at the times they prefer to access transit. To view full ST Express schedules, visit www.soundtransit.org/schedules.

All permit applicants must be residents of the Sound Transit district and use a valid ORCA or ORCA Lift card at least 12 days per month to board a bus operated by Sound Transit, or King County Metro from their permitted Transit Center. Carpool parking permits are available free of charge to groups of two or more riders who use transit and share a ride to the parking lots at least 12 days per month.

Riders can submit permit applications starting at 7 a.m. December 2. To apply online or obtain more information about Sound Transit’s permit parking program, please visit www.soundtransit.org/permitparking

King County Metro also provides fast and direct access to both Issaquah and Mercer Island. For routes, schedules and trip planning, visit www.kingcounty.gov/metro. Metro is also offering SOV permit parking at nine lots including the Issaquah Highlands Park-and-Ride lot. For more information on Metro’s permit parking program visit www.kingcounty.gov/metro/permitparking.

In 2018 the Sound Transit board authorized permit-parking options for all of the agency’s high- demand park-and-ride lots, including those that regularly fill to, or in excess of, 90% of capacity.