Transportation Commission Office – PO Box 47308 – Olympia, WA 98504-7308 – 360-705-7070
Contact: Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director, 360-705-7070 (Olympia)
OLYMPIA – The effect lower traffic volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had on tolled facilities, and potential toll rate changes in 2021 will be discussed at next week’s Washington State Transportation Commission meeting. Also, transportation organizations and agencies representing cities, counties, ports, transit, and the state will discuss their priorities for the 2021 legislative session and the year ahead.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. both Tuesday, Jan. 19, and Wednesday, Jan. 20. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted virtually using GoToWebinar. People interested in attending can register on the commission’s website. The meeting will be broadcast live on TVW at www.tvw.org.
On Tuesday, the commission will receive an update of the Interstate 405 express toll lanes (ETLs) / State Route 167 HOT lanes Low-Income Tolling Study. The study assesses the effects of tolling on low-income drivers of the I-405 ETLs / SR 167 HOT lanes and will identify possible approaches to mitigate impacts. The project team will present an assessment of proposed low-income toll program options and the commission will select which options will advance for further evaluation. A final report of findings and recommendations is due to the Legislature by June 30, 2021.
Next, the commission will hear from the Washington State Association of Counties on its 2020 Revenue Study, which includes recommendations on alterations to transportation funding and revenues. In addition, Joint Transportation Committee staff will brief the commission on its report to the Legislature on options for funding transportation programs, projects, and services over the next ten years, including a timeline for legislative action on funding identified shortfalls.
The commission’s afternoon session will focus on the state’s tolled facility performance. The Office of the State Treasurer will provide financial updates on toll facilities, including results of financial models for the SR 520 Bridge and SR 99 Tunnel. Commission staff will provide an update on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge financial status. Washington State Department of Transportation staff will provide an update on changes to toll facility and toll system shared costs. WSDOT will also provide a draft work plan and timeline to support the commission’s rate setting process for anticipated SR 520 and SR 99 toll rate setting later this year.
On Wednesday, commissioners will hear from various state and local agencies and organizations on priorities for and expectations of the 2021 legislative session. The commission is tasked with providing transportation policy recommendations to the Legislature and Governor, and these briefings keep the commission apprised of emerging priorities for all levels of government with transportation responsibilities.
Written public comment will be accepted via email until 4 p.m. the day before the meeting. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments received after this deadline will be provided to commissioners after the meeting. Questions can also be asked during the meeting by using the “question” box found on-screen during the meeting, and as time allows, will be addressed during the meeting.
All presentations will be available on the commission’s website.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information: Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations may request written materials in alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility accommodations, or other reasonable accommodations by the Commission Office at (360) 705-7070 or Transc@wstc.wa.gov. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the event sponsor through the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1.
Title VI Notice to Public
It is the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) policy to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin or sex, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with WSDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). For additional information regarding Title VI complaint procedures and/or information regarding our non-discrimination obligations, please contact OEO’s Title VI Coordinator 360-705-7082.