Public Parking Carpool Program FAQs

A list of commonly asked questions related to the on-street carpool program.

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Carpool Parking Locations

Where is my on-street carpool parking permit valid?
Carpool parking permits are allowed to park at any paystation that is 5 hours or more. There are also designated areas that are only available for carpool permit holders from 6am - 10am Mon - Fri. Click here for a map of locations.

Which SmartPark Garages have carpool parking permits?

  • SW 1st & Jefferson
  • SW 3rd & Alder
  • SW 10th & Yamhill
  • SW 4th & Yamhill
  • NW Naito & Davis

Click here for a map of SmartPark Garage locations.


Eligibility for all Carpool Permits 

Why do I have to live outside of a certain distance from downtown to qualify for a permit?
The intent of the carpool program is to provide carpool options for those who do not have easy access to public transportation. The area in gray has been identified as an area widely serviced by Trimet, and residents in this area are encouraged to use Trimet services. Click here to the in ineligible zone

Is there a minimum number of people in need to carpool with to qualify?
Yes, there is a 2-person minimum.

What are the age restrictions for my carpool partners?
Carpool members must be at least 14 years old to qualify as a member of your carpool. All carpoolers must be Licensed Drivers (does not apply for student between the age of 14 to 18)

Can you explain more about travel requirements?
All members of the carpool must commute together and place of employment must be in to the Downtown Meter District or the Lloyd Meter District at least four days each week, both ways. The commute route must make common sense, and the carpool members must share at least 50% of the commute route together.

  • Qualifying Example: DJ and Lori commute in from Gresham five days a week. DJ is the driver, and picks up Lori, who lives four blocks south of her, before they travel west to the Lloyd District. DJ drops Lori off at the Convention Center where Lori works, and DJ goes on to her job at the Moda Center. This is a qualifying example because Lori and DJ carpool at least four days a week, they both work in the same meter district, and they share at least 50% of the route commute.
  • Non-Qualifying Example: Glen and Nicole commute together twice a week from their house in Ladd's Addition. They both work for the same company in downtown. This is not a qualifying trip because they do not commute together at least four times a week, and they also live within the ineligibility boundary.
  • Non-Qualifying Example: Colleen, Grant, and Anto carpool together from the West Hills. They carpool together five days a week. Colleen drops Grant and Anto off on NW 23rd where they work, then Colleen drives to PSU where she works. This is not a qualifying trip because all carpool members must work/go to school in the same meter district.

Verification

Do you verify that I work/go to school within the district I apply?
Yes, employment verification is required prior to any issuance of permits. If employment cannot be verified over the telephone by your firm's local human resources department, applicants must provide written employment verification and specific work hours on company letterhead issued from the respective personnel office. Carpool participants attending school (college, high school, or special trade schools) must attach enrollment verification and school hours from their school. PBOT reserves the right to audit this information at any time while your permit is still valid. 

Do you verify that I am carpooling with the people on my permit application?
Yes, to ensure the system is not being abused, PBOT may contact the people you list on your carpool application to verify they are still a part of your carpool.

If I leave the carpool program, can I give my permit to someone else?
No. Permits are non-transferable. If you are leaving the program and others in your carpool wish to stay in the program, they must apply on their own. 


Application, Renewal, and Receiving Your Permit

How do I apply for:
On-street carpool permit: Click here for application information. Complete the application, and send it to the address on the form, along with payment.
SmartPark Garage carpool permit: Click here to apply for a permit online.

How do I receive my permit?
On-street carpool permits are sent monthly via the mail only.
SmartPark Garage carpool permits are issued via an access card which will be sent in the mail. 

How do I renew my carpool permit?
On-street carpool permits renewal forms are mailed with monthly permits. Payment and application is due by the 20th of the month for the proceeding month.
SmartPark Garage Operator will mail or email an invoice on the 15th of the prior month.


On-Street Carpool Permit Payment

What is the Online Carpool Payment option?
This option allows carpoolers to make their monthly carpool permit payment electronically online instead of having to mail a check to the city. This option is intended to make it easier for carpoolers to make their monthly permit payments and will be a service available 24/7.

Who can use the Online Carpool Payment option?
Any carpooler can use it who is not otherwise using a voucher or other third-party payment (i.e., Wage Works, commuter checks, or carpool checks).

How do I use the Online Carpool Payment option?
All carpoolers will be mailed a renewal notice that includes a web link to direct them to the appropriate online payment webpage. There are two web links, one for downtown carpoolers and one for Lloyd District carpoolers. If you have questions which carpool program you are in, please call 503/823-2777. Once you open the appropriate web link further instructions will be provided online.

Will I need to set-up a logon name and password?
No, logon names and passwords will not be required.

Will I need to submit my e-mail address to pay online?
No, your e-mail address is not required. However, you have the option of entering your e-mail address into the system when you pay online. The advantage is that when you submit your e-mail address the system will be able to send you a confirmation number and receipt after you complete your online payment. Otherwise, you will have the payment confirmation and receipt on screen and will need to print it to save.

Can I set-up automatic bill pay if I use the Online Carpool Permit option?
No. The system is not able to accommodate automatic bill pay at this time.

Will I receive electronic notices to pay Online?
No. Carpoolers will continue to receive mailed renewal notices with their monthly permits.

Will I continue to receive a physical permit if I use the Online Carpool Permit option?
Yes. All carpoolers, regardless whether they pay by check or online, will continue to receive their permits in the mail.

What if I need a refund and I paid Online?
If you feel you overpaid, double-paid, or have a similar issue please contact Portland Bureau of Transportation at 503/823-2777 or send an e-mail to PBOTParkingPermits@portlandoregon.gov so that an evaluation and determination can be completed. Note that the City may only issue a refund up to 60 days from the date of online payment.

What if the system does not accept my credit card or bank card?
Before calling the City, verify that you entered your bank card information correctly or try using a different card. If you still have problems, please contact Portland Bureau of Transportation at 503/823-2777 or send an e-mail to PBOTParkingPermits@portlandoregon.gov for further assistance.

How will my privacy be protected if I pay online?
Portland takes privacy seriously and online payment transactions are both encrypted and meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.

Can I still send in a paper check if I don’t want to use the Online Carpool Permit option?
Yes. Paying online for carpool permits is an option and not a requirement at this time.


Enforcement

Do Parking Enforcement officers check for valid permits?

Yes, Parking Enforcement officers check for expired permits. Using an expired permit on-street may result in a parking citation. 


Lost Permits

What happens if I lose my on-street carpool permit?
Portland Transportation is not responsible for lost or stolen permits, gives no refunds, does not prorate, reserves the right to refuse to reissue a permit in the case of misuse, and will impose an appropriate replacement fee.


Contact Us

Who can I contact for more information?
On-Street questions about the online carpool payment program or if you need more information, please contact the Portland Bureau of Transportation at 503/823-2777 or send an e-mail to PBOTParkingPermits@portlandoregon.gov.
SmartPark questions 503.790.9302 x111 or smartparkmonthly@spplus.com