Parking Rate Changes for Downtown Tacoma

Changes are coming to what you pay for downtown parking.

The cost of metered on-street parking will be increasing - from the current $0.75 an hour to a flat $1 per hour. The rates for parking in certain City-owned garages will be changing too. It's going to be a little cheaper to park for a few hours in City garages Park Plaza North, the Tacoma Parking Garage, and Pacific Plaza Garage, but more expensive to stay there all day. 

The changes, recommended by Tacoma's Parking Technical Advisory Group, would drop the cost of parking for up to six hours of parking, especially for stays between three and five hours. Rates for more than six hours, on the other hand, would increase.

  • 0-3 hours: $2.00 (currently $2.50 per hour)
  • 3-4 hours: $4.00 (currently $10.00)
  • 4-5 hours: $8.00 (currently $12.50)
  • 5-6 hours: $12.00 (currently $12.50)
  • 6+ hours: $16.00 (currently $12.50)
  • Evening rate: 5 p.m. - 3 a.m.: Flat rate capped at $4.00 (currently $5.00)

The rate changes are expected to take effect by the end of the month (Update: changes are scheduled to go into effect on August 25). All funds collected by the City for parking goes to the parking enterprise fund for ongoing operation, maintenance, and improvement of the parking system.

The changes were recommended to provide a lower-cost option for visitors who want to stay in downtown longer than parking meter limits allow. On-street parking, according to the PTAG recommendation, currently exceeds 85% on some blocks, while City garages have additional capacity. The old rate structure favors longer-term stays, particularly by parkers with monthly passes, over shorter-term use. The proposed changes are meant to shift that balance more toward short-term use by customers or clients of downtown businesses.

Fortunately parking changes never draw any complaints, so implementation should go pretty smoothly...

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