Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: June 25, 2015
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – Drivers who use the State Route 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge are reminded that toll rates will increase next week. New toll rates for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge take effect 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 1.
The change reflects a rate increase approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission to ensure the bridge generates enough revenue to cover costs required under law.
The commission approved a 50 cent rate increase to take effect this July and it also approved a second 50 cent toll rate increase effective July 1, 2016. Rates will increase for all toll categories: This July, the Good To Go! pass rate will increase from $4.50 to $5, cash tolls from $5.50 to $6, and Pay By Mail from $6.50 to $7.
The commission is required by law to set toll rates for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in an amount that is sufficient to pay annual expenses including debt service, operations, maintenance and preservation of the bridge.
The commission evaluates several factors in arriving at its rate proposal, including bridge expenses that are paid for by toll revenue, trends in traffic volumes, the schedule for bond payments, ending balances in the toll revenue account, the rate recommendations from the governor-appointed Tacoma Narrows Bridge Citizen Advisory Committee and public input.
The bridge was financed with an escalating debt structure to minimize the initial toll rates and impact on bridge users. Debt payments started out low when the bridge opened to traffic in 2007 and are now rising sharply, requiring additional toll revenue each year to pay the escalating obligation. Over the next four fiscal years, debt service payments grow from $53 million in 2015 to almost $73 million in 2019.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
- Washington State Transportation Commission: www.wstc.wa.gov/
- Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll rates: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/TNBTolling/tnbtollrates.htm