This post provides more details about the previous post’s suggestion that the way to ease congestion is for Sound Transit to use their current Prop 1 funding to add 20,000 parking spaces at P&R lots each year for the next five years. Each P&R lot would provide access to free BRT rides to T/Cs in Seattle, Bellevue, and Overlake. The operating costs for the buses would be covered by those willing to pay a $250 monthly or $3000 annual fee for an assigned parking space. They could use the space whenever they wish, share it with others when not needed, or car pool to the space with neighbors.
Commuters currently within walking distance of transit or using one of the ~20,000 parking spaces in P&R lots around the area to access transit could continue to do so. The 20,000 new spaces added each year for “Pay to Park” (doubling current level) could be divided between 10 new P&R lots. Depending on demand, two or three would be along the I-5 corridor between Everett and Seattle, one or two along I-405 between Lynnwood and Bellevue, and two each along south I-5, I-90 and SR520 corridors.
If the distance from P&R to T/C were 10 miles, the $20,000 daily parking fees for each 2000 space P&R could pay the total operating costs for 50 bus routes for two twenty-mile morning and afternoon inbound and outbound round trips. Longer commutes would have fewer bus routes or require higher parking fees or some subsidy to cover operating costs.
The 50 bus routes could provide each P&R with its own dedicated BRT service to and from the desired T/Cs. Each bus route could accommodate more than100 riders leaving plenty of room for those not needing parking. Depending on commuter demand, each of the P&R lots between Everett and Seattle could have different splits between BRT I-5 routes into and out of Seattle and along I-405 to and from Bellevue and Overlake. While most of the routes would be during the peak commute, those having different schedules could be assured of a parking space and less frequent bus service to and from destination. Those using “Pay to Park” along other corridors would have similar options.
The 20,000 parking spaces and 250 buses added annually for five years could provide 100,000 parking spaces with more than 5000 new daily bus routes between P&R lots and destinations. The capacity and the resulting ridership would dwarf any rationale ridership estimate for Sound Transit's $54 billion 25-year ST3 "Prop 1 and Beyond" light rail extensions at a fraction of the cost and time.