Skip Top Navigation

Research Reports

How Can We Maximize Efficiency and Increase Person Occupancy at Overcrowded Park and Rides?

Description: This study was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. The purpose of this project was to provide the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), King County Metro Transit, and Sound Transit with more detailed information on the use of 17 of the busiest park and ride facilities in the Central Puget Sound Region. These park and ride lots, like a large fraction of lots across the region, are currently operating at or near capacity. The agencies would like to obtain detailed information on their use to inform potential parking management strategies in the future. In particular, the long-term objective is to eventually implement strategies to increase the number of people served by the limited parking spaces.

Two empirical data collection efforts were performed. The first was an on-site audit of the existing use of 10 of the 17 facilities. The second data collection effort was a user intercept survey administered both in-person at all 17 lots and electronically to the set of registered vanpool users at these facilities and those who could not complete the survey on site. The survey collected more detailed information from individual park and ride users, including trip purpose, origin-destination information, mode of entry and exit, reasons for using park and rides, and user reactions to potential strategies that WSDOT and the other agencies are considering to help increase person efficiency of these lots.

The report details a few major findings from this work. The data suggest that the following strategies might be successful at improving person efficiency at overcrowded park and ride facilities: (1) implement parking fees for single-occupant vehicles to disincentivize their use; (2) dedicate a portion of parking spaces at each lot for multi-occupant vehicle use only; (3) revise local transit service near these locations to increase the fraction of drivers that have feasible transit options to the park and rides; and (4) examine the use of parking at available lots near the park and ride facilities for overflow or single-occupant vehicle parking.

  • Date Published: June, 2014
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 830.1
  • Last Modified: August 6, 2014
  • Authors: Vikash V. Gayah, Krae Stieffenhofer, Venky Shankar.
  • Originator: The Pennsylvania State University. The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute
  • # of Pages: 136 p., 2.9 MB (PDF)
  • Subject: Fringe parking, Parking demand, Transit centers, Vehicle occupancy, Surveys, Recommendations, Parking fees, Carpools, Mode choice, Public transit, Parking facilities.
  • Keywords: Park and ride, parking plan, carpool, vanpool, origin-destination, transit, multi-occupant vehicle, overcrowding, King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit, Washington state.
  • Related Publications:


This abstract was last modified August 13, 2014