Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: March 18, 2015
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – At the Washington State Transportation Commission’s final hearing tonight, Wednesday, March 18, commissioners took action to adopt the final Interstate 405 express toll lane rates and rules. It is the latest milestone for the express toll lanes project, which will open later this year on the north end of I-405 between Bellevue and Lynwood.
In 2009, the Legislature directed WSDOT to look at express toll lanes on I-405, and the 2011 Legislature authorized tolling on I-405 between Bellevue and Lynnwood. The express toll lanes let drivers choose a faster and more reliable trip by paying a toll to access the HOV lanes. Toll rates will adjust depending on traffic, and drivers will pay the rate they see upon entering the lanes.
Highlights of the rates and rules for the I-405 express toll lanes are below:
- Good To Go! toll rates will range from a minimum of 75 cents to a maximum of $10. It is estimated that the typical toll will range from 75 cents to $4.
- Carpools with three or more people will be exempt from paying a toll at all times, and carpools with two people will be exempt, except during weekday peak hours (5 – 9 a.m. and 3 – 7 p.m.). Motorcycles, transit vehicles, and vanpools will also be exempt.
- To use the express toll lanes free, drivers must meet the occupancy requirements, have a Good To Go! account and have a Flex Pass. The Washington State Department of Transportation will soon begin distributing the new Flex Passes.
- Drivers without a Good To Go! account can also use the express toll lanes and will receive a bill in the mail for their trip. Drivers who chose this option will pay $2 above the posted Good To Go! rate in effect at the time of the trip.
The WSTC is legally required to set the toll rate range for the I-405 express toll lanes in an amount that is sufficient to pay for the maintenance and operations of the lanes. By law, toll revenue can only be used to pay for the cost of the I-405 express toll lanes maintenance and operations, as well as future I-405 corridor improvements.
The rate setting process began with recommendations from the I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Group in November 2013. Rate setting was also informed by WSDOT analysis and recommendations, as well as public input, which was collected from Feb. 3 through March 18, the final hearing date. Comments were collected in a variety of ways, including three public meetings, email, letters and online discussion forums.
WSDOT will continue its ongoing outreach to educate drivers about the changes coming to I-405. This summer, it will launch an educational campaign to ensure drivers understand how the I-405 express toll lanes will work and carpool participants are aware of the new occupancy requirements for a toll exemption.