Transportation Commission begins preparations for raising tolls and ferry fares

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 Washington State Transportation Commission is holding a special meeting next week to begin its process to increase toll rates on some tolled facilities and to adjust Washington State Ferry fares, based upon the final transportation budget passed by the Legislature in the 2021 session.

The special meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, May 11. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted virtually using Zoom Webinar. People interested in attending can register on the commission’s website. The meeting will be broadcast live on TVW at

In the final 2021-2023 Transportation Budget, the Legislature provided funding to relieve the financial pressure on tolled facilities resulting from reduced traffic volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission had recently discussed the possibility of raising some tolls as soon as July 1 of this year. With the funding provided by the Legislature, the commission has additional time to go through its regular rate setting and public outreach process, moving the effective date for potential rate increases to Oct. 1, 2021.

During its meeting, the commission will receive financial updates for Washington State Ferries, as well as the State Route 99 tunnel, the SR 520 bridge, and the SR 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Discussions will focus on various toll rate scenarios and approaches to generating the needed toll revenues to cover legally required costs. Those costs include debt payments, toll operations, and maintenance and preservation of the tolled facilities. The commission will also determine its schedule and process for adjusting the toll rates, including opportunities for the public to comment on the options under consideration. The commission will discuss its schedule and process for adjusting ferry fares at its May 18 meeting. The commission is expected to release its proposed ferry fare increases during its June 15 meeting and proposed toll rate increases during its July 20 meeting.

Questions or comments from the public can be submitted during the meeting by using the “Q&A” function found on-screen during the virtual meeting. As time allows, questions will be addressed during the meeting. Written public comment can also be submitted via email until 4 p.m. the day before the meeting. Comments should be sent to Written comments received after this deadline will be provided to commissioners after 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 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 360-705-7090.