Consulting / Studies

Tacoma Dome Station Garage Parking Management Study



Pierce Transit retained DESMAN to provide a parking management strategy study for the Tacoma Dome Station (TDS) Garage in Tacoma, WA. The adjoined East and West parking garages contain 2,387 spaces on six and seven levels, respectively. Pierce Transit wanted to encourage the use of the garage by bus and commuter rail users over students and downtown employees and make the facility as easy to use as possible for transit riders. Parking was being provided in the garage for free and the facility was fully utilized on weekdays.

It was determined that fee-based parking at current market rates should be implemented at the TDS Garage to raise revenue to cover garage operating and maintenance expenses, make improvements to the garage, and to encourage the use of the garage by bus and rail commuters over students and downtown employees. DESMAN recommended a rate structure for the garage and identified and reviewed several technology options for the facility.

DESMAN then recommended three distinct strategies to manage and operate the TDS Garage, as requested in Pierce Transit’s RFP. Two of the strategies were non-gated and used multi-space meters to collect parking revenues. The difference in the two strategies was manual enforcement versus License Plate Recognition (LPR) enforcement. The third strategy was gated and used Pay-on-Foot (POF) and Pay-in-Lane (PIL) equipment to collect revenues and no enforcement was required with this system.  Ten-year revenue and expense projections were developed for each strategy.

A preferred strategy was recommended based on implementation cost, relative ease of installation, net revenue projections, consistency with how other transit agencies in the west and northwest are collecting parking fees, and more efficient and effective enforcement. It was also recommended that the system include the ability to pay for parking by cell phone, which provides a higher level of customer service.

Parking revenues should allow Pierce Transit to make future improvements to the TDS Garage to further enhance the overall user experience, such as LED lighting, a parking guidance system, and replacement parking equipment when required.

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