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Give your input on State Route 99 tunnel toll rates, public meeting at PNA June 6

The Washington State Transportation Commission is gathering public feedback on the proposed toll rate options for the State Route 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle, scheduled to open this fall.

Tunnel tolls are expected to raise $200 million to help fund construction of the $3.3 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program and to cover ongoing operating and maintenance costs. The tunnel will initially be free when it opens, and it has not yet been determined when tolling will start.

The Transportation Commission is considering three toll rate options, all of which have lower tolls initially, with planned rate increases later.

Option A:

Toll rates range from $1.50 – $2.25 during peak travel times, $1.25 midday and $1 overnight.

There are four different toll rates over six time periods on weekdays.

Beginning in July 2022, toll rates increase 3 percent, every three years for all days of the week.

Option B:

Toll rates range from $1.50 – $2.25 during peak travel times, $1 midday and $1 overnight.

There are four different toll rates over eight time periods on weekdays.

Beginning in July 2020, there will be annual toll rate increases of 3.5 percent for five years that will apply to the weekday rates only.

Option C:
Toll rates range from $1.50 – $2.25 during peak travel times, $1.25 midday and $1 overnight.

There are five different toll rates over seven time periods on weekdays.

There are no toll rate increases during first five years of tolling. Then there are three toll rate increases of 5 percent each, taking place in July of 2024, 2029, and 2034, for all days of the week.

See the WSTC’s web site for full details.

You can email comments on these tolling options to transc@wstc.wa.gov or use the online comment form, and you can attend a public meeting, including one in our neighborhood, starting at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday, June 6, at the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in Room 7 of the Blue Building. An open house is scheduled from 5:30-6:30 p.m., with a formal presentation and public comments from 6:30-8 p.m.

The Transportation Commission will make its official toll rate proposal in July, followed by an additional public comment period before toll rates are finalized this fall.

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