Passengers board a Sounder heading toward Seattle at the Edmonds Station, one of two in Snohomish County where Sound Transit will start offering parking permits.                                (Michael O’Leary/ Herald File)

Passengers board a Sounder heading toward Seattle at the Edmonds Station, one of two in Snohomish County where Sound Transit will start offering parking permits. (Michael O’Leary/ Herald File)

Permits will reserve parking spots at two Sounder stations

Solo drivers will pay $90 a month, but for carpools, it’s free.

MUKILTEO — Sound Transit wants to take the guessing out of parking at its park-and-rides.

Starting in April, riders can buy a permit to reserve a space at the Mukilteo and Edmonds Sounder stations.

The transit agency has slowly been moving toward charging people who use the lots, many of which fill early in the morning.

Sound Transit has said this move will offer “increased certainty and ensure more equitable access to parking.

“These new permit options are intended to provide a reliable option for riders to find parking without arriving earlier than needed,” said Sound Transit in a press release.

For solo drivers, the permit will cost $90 a month. People who qualify for the low-income fare will pay $30. Permits also will be offered free to carpools of two or more. Those who use them will be required to ride transit at least 12 times a month.

Up to half of the spaces at each station would be set aside for permit holders. After 8 a.m., unused permit spots would be available for anyone. The rest of the stalls would continue to operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sales started March 1. For information or to apply for a permit, visit www.soundtransit.org/permitparking.

In October, Sound Transit expanded parking near the Edmonds station. Riders can park for free at the Edmonds United Methodist Church on 828 Caspers St. The church lot is about a mile away. Riders also can access the Sounder station using Community Transit Route 196.

Parking permits for solo drivers are being offered for the Northgate Transit Center. Sound Transit has plans to expand the program further.

“We will be rolling out more permit parking in the coming months at lots that are consistently over 90 percent capacity,” said John Gallagher, a spokesperson for Sound Transit in an email. “However, we can only do so at the lots that Sound Transit owns and operates.”

Community Transit, which owns about half of the park-and-ride lots in Snohomish County, has no plans to start charging for parking.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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