Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: January 15, 2015
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – At its January meeting, the Washington State Transportation Commission will consider traffic and revenue results and projections for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the State Route 520 floating bridge as a first step in revising toll rates for 2015. The commission also will continue its work on developing proposed toll rates and policies for the Interstate 405 express toll lanes, which are scheduled to open this fall.
The meeting starts 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, and 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, 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 at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, and at noon Thursday.
Wednesday morning, the commission will hear briefings on the history of public-private partnerships in Washington, and the Joint Legislative and Audit Review Committee’s assessment of Washington State Department of Transportation’s preservation and maintenance needs. Additionally, the commission will hear reports on activities and research regarding a road usage charge, a potential long-term sustainable funding source for transportation 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. The State Treasurer’s Office will present a report to the commission on possible financing implications of such a change.
Wednesday afternoon, the commission takes up tolling work, with a focus on identifying key policies and the possible toll rates for the I-405 express toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood. The lanes allow drivers who do not meet the HOV requirement to pay a toll to access the lanes at rates that vary depending on traffic flow. The commission will likely release its toll rate proposal in February, at which time it will launch a full public review and input process, prior to making any final decisions on policies or rates.
On Thursday, the commission will discuss transportation policy and budget items under consideration in the 2015 legislative session, including Governor Inslee’s 2015 transportation budget and policy proposal, the Department of Licensing’s budget and policy agenda, an overview of the Department of Ecology’s oil transportation study, and the Joint Transportation Committee’s study of ways to expand the state’s electric vehicle charging network.
The commission also will receive updates from WSDOT on its work to develop practical solutions to improve transportation and its efforts to find more efficient ways to provide passenger rail service between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/