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SR 99 tunnel tolling
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Tolling begins in Seattle’s SR 99 tunnel: What you need to know

Tolling for Seattle’s SR 99 tunnel began early Saturday morning. Here’s what you need to know before you drive through the tunnel.

Prices

Toll prices in the tunnel vary by time of day, and will go as follows:

Weekends: $1

Weekdays:

  • 6 – 7 a.m. – $1.25
  • 7 – 9 a.m. – $1.50
  • 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. –  $1.25
  • 3 – 6 p.m. – $2.25
  • 6 – 11 p.m. – $1.25
  • 11 p.m. – 6 a.m. –  $1

Those prices apply for anyone with a Good to Go pass attached to their car — without a pass, it’s an extra $2 per trip to account for WSDOT sending you a bill in the mail. You can purchase a Good to Go pass here. 

If you are deciding which pass is best for you, be sure to think about your drive. Do you ever use 405? Do you ever use 167? If the answer to either one of those questions is yes, maybe a Flex Pass works best for you. It will work in the tunnel, and it will work on the other corridors. The Flex Pass will also cost you a little more money.

Weekend rates will apply for drivers headed to CenturyLink Field on Sunday to see the Seattle Sounders take on Toronto FC in the MLS Cup Final.

Traffic

Tolling director Ed Barry told Seattle City Council that up to 1,700 vehicles an hour during the peak commutes could divert to city streets to avoid tolling. About 5,000 vehicles an hour use the tunnel during those times. They have to go somewhere, so you should have your backup plan ready to roll.

That all being so, the fastest way through the downtown corridor is no huge surprise.

“If you’re traveling through downtown Seattle, the tunnel is always going to be your best route,” said SDOT’s Heather Marx. “Our streets are at capacity — it’s not worth your time trying to make your way through downtown on surface streets.”

Beyond that, the hope is driver behaviors mirror what we saw back when the Alaskan Way Viaduct closed for good, where traffic levels weren’t nearly as problematic as originally projected.

“When the viaduct came down, we found that so many people just took our advice and changed up their commute,” Marx noted. “We just hope that everyone does that exact same thing for the purposes of tolling.”

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