Transportation Commission Talks Tolling, Ferry Names and the 20-year State Plan for Transportation
Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: July 7, 2010
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA: The Washington State Transportation Commission will meet July 13 and 14 in Olympia. At the two-day meeting, the Commission is expected to name the next two 64-car ferries being built and will be taking action to release the draft 20-year Washington Transportation Plan (WTP 2030) for public review and comment. Among other topics on the agenda are continued discussions on SR 520 Bridge toll setting and an update on the Ferry Riders’ Opinion Group (FROG) survey effort.
The meeting will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13-14, at the Transportation Building on the Olympia Capital Campus, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE in Olympia starting at 9 a.m. each day.
On Tuesday, the Commission will act to name the two new ferries that will be placed in service in 2011 and 2012. After receiving many suggested names for the new vessels, the Commission has narrowed the choices to the following five names: Salish, Cowlitz, Kennewick, Tokitae, and Samish. The first of the 64-car ferries was named “Chetzemoka” last year by the Commission and will make its inaugural sailing between Whidbey Island and Port Townsend on Sunday, August 29. Following the ferry naming, the Commission will consider a proposal to change the name of the Whidbey Island’s "Keystone" ferry terminal to the "Coupeville" terminal.
Also on Tuesday, the Commission will review the draft WTP 2030 - a comprehensive and balanced statewide transportation plan that establishes a 20-year vision for the development of the statewide transportation system. Release of the Draft WTP 2030 will initiate a public comment period stretching into October 2010. The Commission will adopt the final WTP 2030 by December of this year.
On Wednesday, the Commission will continue its work with WSDOT toward developing the toll rate structure for the SR 520 Bridge. Toll collection on the SR 520 Bridge will begin in 2011 with the dual purposes of generating revenue to pay for a portion of the new bridge and managing congestion on the existing facility. The Commission will also review the latest data on Tacoma Narrows Bridge traffic volumes and revenue generation to assess the adequacy of current rates which have not been increased or adjusted for over two years.
Also on Wednesday, the Commission will receive an update on the “FROG” ferry rider survey that has been underway system wide since the start of 2010. Findings and results from the recently completed April survey will be presented along with results from two special surveys – one surveying the general public in and around ferry serviced communities who rarely if ever ride the ferries; and another survey aimed specifically at freight users of the ferry system.
Other agenda items for the two-day meeting include a presentation by Microsoft on its employee transit service, an update on the state transportation revenue forecast, and a briefing on the request by the City of Bothell to assume jurisdiction of State Route 527.