It is tough to find affordable, convenient parking in Seattle.
Over the past decades, traffic has gotten heavier, parking spots are slimmer, and getting downtown is a hassle. If you commute to work in the morning, you hit traffic. If you leave work at a reasonable time, you hit traffic.
The city is set to spend nearly $1 billion on improving Seattle’s transportation problems.
Maybe we can enjoy a leisurely ride into our wonderful city in the near future. Until then, here are five hacks to help you find parking in Seattle.
1. Take Public Transportation
Would it not be a delight to travel in the city without needing to park your car? Seems like a cop-out, but it is time to think about other ways to travel. As much as we love cars here at TRED, leaving your car behind can be a great solution to get into Seattle in an affordable and convenient way.
Take the Washington State Ferries
There are multiple ferries North and South of Seattle. You can consider taking the Bremerton or Bainbridge Island ferry over to Seattle. Look here to find the departure times for your chosen location.
For those of you on Vashon island, consider taking the Water Taxi.
If you live on the Seattle side, you also have options for traveling into the city.
Take the King County Metro
The metro has close to 220 bus and trolley routes that can get you into Seattle. Even if you don’t live within walking distance of a bus route, all 44 metro stations have daily paid parking options which vary depending on location, but they’re still cheaper than parking in Seattle proper. It is also much easier to find free parking outside of the city within walking distance of a bus.
Take a Bike-Share
Seattle’s previous bike-share, Pronto, shut down earlier this year. Despite Pronto’s troubled history, there is still hope for bike-shares in Seattle.
“I remain optimistic about the future of bike-share in Seattle,” said Ed Murray, Seattle’s mayor. Taking to that optimism are two bike share companies, Spin and Limebike. Unlike Pronto, these bike-shares don’t require you to find a docking station. Instead, you can now take it to your destination and lock it up there. This week these companies are putting 1,000 shareable bikes on the streets.
2. Use Craigslist to Rent Monthly Parking in Seattle
Are you a regular commuter? Then monthly parking deals might be right for you. People like to rent their parking spots to make a few dollars on the side. For regular commuters, especially for those in high-powered careers, investing in a dependable parking spot can be important.
Enjoy the flexibility that comes with monthly parking deals. You can stroll through the city any day, as long as you need, without worrying about parking costs. Best of all, you never have to find a spot. It’s already there, waiting for you.
3. Use Seattle Parking Apps
There are two problems that come with parking: (1) finding a parking spot and (2) paying for parking. Luckily, technology can help you solve both. There are multiple applications that let you see available parking, costs, and even reserve spots for your arrival.
e-Park recently doubled their capacity
If you want to visit Seattle’s retail district, Pioneer Square, or the Waterfront, e-Park can help you! Their mobile app gives you parking locations and shows you in real time how many open spaces e-Park has to offer.
The BestParking search engine for cheap parking facilities
BestParking.com serves more than 105 cities and 115 airports. This application lets you monitor hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rates for over 12,000 parking facilities. If you choose to use BestParking, you will gain access to better rates and deals which are exclusive to the platform. If you need to reserve a parking spot, the platform also shows you which spots have that option by highlighting them in blue.
ParkMe, another smart parking app for Seattleites
Like BestParking, you can find open garages, information about available capacity, costs, and reservation options. A great application to find parking in Seattle.
You were born with a set of feet for a reason! With the help of public transportation, you can easily find a way to walk to most destinations in Seattle without having to worry about parking. If you are going into the city for a big event, we recommend using the city’s monorail to your advantage.
Depending on the location of the event, parking in Seattle can get even more scarce than usual. If the event is located near the Seattle Center or the Westlake Center, you are in luck. You can park at the opposite location and take the monorail to the other end. Look at the monorail’s route below:
5. Work From Home
Working from home is becoming more common every day. Don’t worry, we are not recommending that you quit your job. Due to the advancements in communications technology, employers are starting to let office employees work remotely. Also, evidence shows that remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts.
If this is a possibility for you, consider it. Think about how it would feel to avoid rush hour traffic. You might be wondering, “how the hell am I going to convince my boss to let me do this?” Thousands of others have succeeded at this, so take a look at these tips to make a plan to work from home.
Traffic and parking costs are hard to avoid. As Seattle becomes a more popular place to live, work, and play, the problem will only get worse before it gets better. Because of this, you will have to think of different ways to find affordable, convenient parking spots in the city. If you have to bring your car, we definitely recommend using the parking apps or reserving a monthly parking spot on Craigslist. Otherwise, check out our other tips and avoid the problems with parking in Seattle!