EDMONDS — More parking will be available as soon as Monday for people who ride the Sounder train and park in Edmonds.
Sound Transit already plans to rent 103 spaces from Salish Crossing, a company that recently purchased the Waterfront Antique Mall property next to the train station in Edmonds, but those spaces won’t be available until May 1.
Now, the transit agency has reached a separate deal that allows riders to park at 53 temporary spots at the antique mall starting Monday.
The additional parking at 190 Sunset Ave. S. will supplement 156 spaces already provided at the station while Salish Crossing constructs a 103-space surface lot.
The trains run between Everett and Seattle with stops in Mukilteo and Edmonds. Some Sound Transit officials say a lack of parking in those cities is a factor in the low ridership for this Sounder train compared with the numbers for express buses and Sound Transit’s commuter train between Seattle and Tacoma.
Sound Transit has agreed to pay $150 per space per month to Salish Crossing for the parking. This will amount to $15,450 per month or $185,400 per year. The agreement would run for five years, and Sound Transit still could consider other measures to improve access at the station during that time.
Reason said Sound Transit will pay the same rate for the 53 temporary parking spaces.
The Sounder North line averages about 1,100 boardings per weekday, less than half of what was projected when the service began. Sounder trains between Seattle and Tacoma average between 8,500 and 10,000 boardings per day, according to Sound Transit.
But the transit agency has seen an uptick in ridership in the past few months. Sounder ridership from Edmonds to Everett grew 18 percent in July, August and September this year compared to the same time last year.