Metro launches crackdown on rule-bending cars at park-and-ride lots

King County Metro will tow drivers who repeatedly use park-and-ride space for nontransit use or who park outside marked stalls at Eastgate, Kingsgate, Redmond and Northgate stations.

After years of letting park-and-ride users bend the rules, King County Metro has decided to crack down.

Transit staff will patrol the Eastgate, Kingsgate, Redmond and Northgate bus stations and order a tow truck to remove vehicles that are repeatedly parked for nontransit purposes.

Once enforcement begins June 12, drivers will get two warnings and their cars will be towed on the third violation, Metro announced this week. This policy would apply to drivers who use transit lots to park all day near their work offices, or while shopping, for instance.

However, cars parked in a fire lane will be immediately towed.

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It will remain legal for solo drivers to park at Metro stations to meet up with carpools, Metro spokesman Scott Gutierrez said.

Metro estimates 5 percent of drivers who use its parking lots aren’t riding transit, but hogging hundreds of the region’s 25,000-plus spaces for other purposes. Among other rules, it’s typically illegal to park more than 24 hours at a transit station.

The biggest park-and-ride stations routinely fill. At least 33 of them are more than 90 percent filled, and several run out of space before 8 a.m.

Demand will increase soon, especially at the 1,400-stall Eastgate…

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