The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) is preparing to make adjustments to its long-term plan for toll rates on the SR 520 bridge. Key information is provided below on what the WSTC is considering and why, what the next steps and schedule is, and how you can provide comments.
What’s happening with toll rates on the SR 520 bridge?
There will not be a toll rate increase on the SR 520 bridge in 2021. However, a rate increase is needed in 2023 to ensure long-term financial obligations can be met.
The pandemic has resulted in a significant decline in traffic and toll revenues for the SR 520 bridge. In the short-term, the Legislature has provided funding to address financial requirements eliminating the need to increase toll rates in 2021.
However, forecasts project revenue shortfalls in the future as the region continues to recover from the pandemic. In order to meet legal requirements and bond contracts the WSTC must update the financial plan for the SR 520 bridge to incorporate a rate increase in 2023.
If traffic rebounds faster than anticipated, the WSTC may adjust rates again before the new rates take effect in 2023.
Toll Rate Proposal
The WSTC is proposing the following toll rate increase for the SR 520 Bridge which would take effect in 2023:
Option 1 – Effective July 1, 2023:
- No toll rate changes for overnight rates (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.)
- Weekday peak hour times are extended by one hour later, resulting in a $1.10 increase from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Rate increases for other times of day, including the weekends, range from 20 cents to 55 cents
- View Detailed Rate Changes for weekdays and weekends
- View proposed regulatory amendments to implement this proposal
How to provide comments
The WSTC is currently gathering public input on its toll rate change proposal as indicate above. If you would like to comment, you can do so by using the Feedback Form, or you can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Input will be gathered through Monday, August 16, 2021.
Sign-Up to testify at August 24th Final Hearing
The WSTC will hold its final hearing on August 24th at 10 a.m. where it is expected they will vote to adopt toll rate changes, effective October 1, 2021.
If you would like to testify at the hearing, you will need to register for the hearing and sign-up to testify.
What is the schedule for the 2023 toll rate setting process?
The process and schedule is outlined below, with new toll rates anticipated to be in effect beginning July 1, 2023.
- June 25 – July 14: Public input is gathered on the WSTC’s selected toll rate options
- July 20: After considering public input, the WSTC issues formal proposed toll rates for further public comment through mid-August
- August 24: The WSTC holds a public hearing to adopt final toll rates
- July 1, 2023: New toll rates take effect