King County Council weighs plan to charge for some park-and-ride spots

SEATTLE -- Commuters who use park-and-ride lots to get to public transit could soon have to buy a permit to guarantee a spot.

Today, the King County Council is expected to approve a plan to charge for the highly coveted park-and-ride spots at 10 of the busiest park-and-rides.

The prices would vary, and the number of paid spots would be determined by demand. The paid spots could be as high as half of the available parking.

The lowest monthly fee would be $60, while other park-and-ride permits could be up to $120 a month. If you carpool, a permit will be free.

Supporters say it could help decrease the number of commuters circling the lots earlier and looking for a spot. But there's also concern that it could make life more difficult for park-and-ride commuters who can't afford a monthly fee and could be forced to start driving themselves to work.

It's still cheaper than driving and paying to park in downtown Seattle, but not affordable for some.

The council is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday afternoon. If approved, it will go into effect in the fall.