WSTC to act on road usage charge recommendations, 20-year transportation plan next week in Olympia
Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: December 4, 2014
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – At its December meeting, the Washington State Transportation Commission will review and act on Washington’s 20-year transportation plan and on recommendations for the next steps of Washington’s Road Usage Charge Assessment, which has been in progress for more than two years.
The meeting starts 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, and at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. This meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period.
Tuesday morning, the commission will take action on the final draft of the Washington Transportation Plan 2035, a 20-year statewide transportation policy plan, which establishes a road map for how our transportation system should develop and includes policy and funding recommendations to carry it out. The plan includes many recommendations to the Legislature and Governor on needed changes and sets forth funding recommendations aimed at generating additional revenue for maintenance of current roadways, as well as for strategic improvements across the state.
In addition, the commission will hear about the 2014 Corridor Capacity Report from Washington State Department of Transportation and King County Metro, one of the transit partners that works with WSDOT on its multimodal analysis of state highway system performance.
On Tuesday afternoon, commissioners will consider and act upon recommendations from the Road Usage Charge Steering Committee. To date, the legislatively-directed Road Usage Charge Assessment has determined that a road usage charge (pay by the mile) is both feasible and makes fiscal sense in that it will provide a long-term sustainable funding source for our infrastructure. Under this approach, the per-gallon gas tax could be replaced with a per-mile charge for usage of the roads in the future. A central recommendation emerging from the steering committee is that the state undertake a road usage charge demonstration project in the 2015-17 biennium to test and gather actual data and experience on how this approach to funding our transportation system would work from a technical, policy and administrative standpoint.
The commission will conclude its business on Tuesday by reviewing a transportation revenue proposal developed by a subcommittee of the commission for consideration by the 2015 Legislature. The subcommittee’s proposal recommends increases in the gas tax and car and truck fees to improve maintenance and preservation of state and local roadways and complete major projects to improve safety and reduce congestion.
On Wednesday, the commission will review work on its 2014 Annual Report. Other topics on Wednesday include initial discussion of fare setting and review of operational policies for Washington State Ferries for FY 2015-17, and an update on SR 520 construction.
The commission agenda concludes with a presentation and discussion of the results from recent Voice of Washington State and Ferry Riders’ Opinion Group surveys. The surveys report on priorities for transportation improvements, attitudes toward new revenue sources to improve transportation, and whether the ferry system meets the needs of summer and recreational travelers.
The commission will take public comment at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, and at 12:45 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/