Solution to Park and Ride walk-offs? | Letter

I often park at the Eastgate Park and Ride and see many people walking from their cars toward Bellevue College. I can understand the impulse to save the $65 per quarter for the college’s parking permit. But with other park and ride lots closing soon, why not create a disincentive to this practice?

I propose that a portion of the Park and Ride lot be open only to cars driven by ORCA card holders. They would tap their card as they entered at a gate, and then if they use their ORCA card to board a bus, their parking would be free. If they do not board a bus within a reasonable amount of time, say an hour, then their ORCA card would be charged a flat parking fee of $10. A few days of this would make a Bellevue College parking permit the cheaper option. Of course, there should be some spots available for people who pay cash when riding the bus, and those spots would still be vulnerable to walk-offs. But from my experience, nearly every commuter uses an ORCA card. On weekends when the lots are not full, the gates could be left open to all.

In the meantime until this could be implemented, why not offer Bellevue College parking permits to non-students? Perhaps commuters would pay to have the reassurance that they could always find a spot at the college when the lot is full.

Ruth Lipscomb