The Transportation Commission is designated in law as the State Tolling Authority and sets toll rates and policies for all state highways and bridges.
Tolling is an innovative tool for easing congestion and for funding and maintaining major transportation projects. Washington currently has five tolled facilities: the SR 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge, SR 167 HOT Lanes, SR 520 bridge, the I-405 express toll Lanes, and the SR 99 tunnel.
NEW: 2021 Toll Rate Changes
The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) took action on August 24th at its hearing to adopt changes to toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the SR 99 tunnel and the SR 520 bridge. You can learn more about the rate increases on each facility here.
NEW – Final Report: 2021 Low-Income Toll Program Study for I-405 & SR 167 Express Toll Lanes
The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) was directed in the 2019/21 Transportation Budget to conduct a study to assess possible approaches to offering toll discounts to low-income drivers on the I-405/ SR 167 Express Toll Lane (ETL) system. The study is now complete and the final findings and recommendations to the Legislature are contained in the final report (linked below).
The findings of the study represent the culmination of extensive research and analysis led by the WSTC, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, with input provided by King County metro’s ORCA LIFT program, and the Puget Sound Regional Council. The recommendations provide a foundation for taking steps towards establishing a future low-income toll program for the ETL’s.
Report: Low-Income Toll Program Study for I-405 & SR 167 Express Toll Lanes. (pdf 1.6 mb)
Appendices: Contains detailed information on: low-income toll program case studies from across the country; stakeholder agency workshops conducted during the study; survey results of low-income drivers who use the ETL’s; program options assessed and evaluation metrics used; and a summary of the regional data assessment conducted. (pdf 3.4 mb)
2021 Tolling Report
The Commission released its “2021 Tolling Report ” (pdf 2mb) which summarizes toll-related activities for the past year, and expected toll-related activities for the year ahead.
The 2021 Tolling Report also includes the 20201Tacoma Narrows Bridge Loan Report. As directed by the Legislature, the annual loan report includes sufficient information to enable the Legislature to determine an adequate amount to loan the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB) Account each biennium, without requiring higher than planned rate increases or changes to the debt service plan repayment schedule.
For more information on tolling regulations, please refer to the following:
- Toll policy for all tolled facilities in Washington State
- WSDOT Tolling Operations: Rules and Regulations
In October 2018 the Transportation Commission adopted toll rates for the SR 99 tunnel. The SR 99 tunnel opened in February 2019, and tolling began on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Toll rates vary by time of day and are collected in both directions. Tolling on the SR 99 tunnel is expected to raise revenues to fund $200 million of construction costs, and to fund ongoing operations and maintenance. Tolling also helps manage congestion on the SR 99 corridor, particularly with tolls varying by time of day.
For more information visit the WSDOT SR 99 Tunnel page.
The I-405 express toll lanes (ETLs) between Lynnwood and Bellevue opened in September 2015. The ETLs project converted an existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to an ETL with dynamic tolling, and added a second ETL in each direction between SR 522 and downtown Bellevue.
In “dynamic tolling” projects, the Transportation Commission sets minimum and maximum toll rates, and then tolls vary automatically depending on traffic volumes and speeds. Toll rates are displayed on overhead electronic signs.
For more information visit the WSDOT I-405 Express Toll Lanes page.
Tolling started December 29, 2011 on the SR 520 bridge. The SR 520 bridge uses all-electronic tolling, meaning that there are no toll booths. Toll rates vary by time of day and are collected in both directions. Tolling on the SR 520 bridge is intended to generate revenues necessary to fund $1.2 billion of the construction costs for the new bridge that opened in April 2016, and to fund ongoing operations and maintenance. In addition, tolling helps manage congestion on the SR 520 corridor, particularly with tolls varying by time of day.
For more information visit the WSDOT SR 520 Bridge page.
The new eastbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened with tolling in July 2007. Rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are fixed and do not vary by time of day or day of week. Tolling on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is intended to generate revenues necessary to fund construction costs for the eastbound bridge, and to fund ongoing operations and maintenance. Tolling is scheduled to sunset with repayment of all financial obligations by about June 2033 (FY 2032). In addition, tolling helps manage congestion on the SR 16 corridor.
For more information visit the WSDOT Tacoma Narrows Bridge page.
The Transportation Commission sets exemptions for tolled facilities. On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, after input from the public and stakeholders, the Transportation Commission adopted changes to some tolling exemptions and fees so they are consistent across all of the state’s tolled facilities. These tolling exemptions took effect on August 1, 2019.
These changes simplify use of all tolled facilities, reduce administrative efforts with streamlined regulations, support parity between communities with tolled facilities, and further align tolling policies with state transportation system goals. None of these changes are expected to result in the need for a toll rate increase.
Tolling Operations & Setting up Your Good To Go! Electronic Toll Account
For more information on tolling operations or to find out how to set up an electronic toll account, please visit the Washington State Department of Transportation toll operations web site at Good To Go! Options. To learn more about how Electronic Tolling works in Washington State visit Good To Go!
The Commission has completed several toll-related studies over the years. For access to the various reports, please refer to our Studies, Reports and Surveys page.