Could express lane tolls go up to $15? Decisions to come this week

Dec 12, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:02 am

(Photo from WSDOT)

(Photo from WSDOT)

The tolls on Interstate 405 and State Route 167 just aren’t doing the job. Plans to raise them will likely be approved this week.

Hitting my kazoo sound on 97.3 KIRO FM when we reach the $10 max on the 405 express toll lanes could become a thing of the past. I might have to wait until the price reaches  $12 or even $15 before we’re at the max.

More Chokepoints: New ferry boats in Washington at least four years away

The Washington State Transportation Commission is expected to vote tomorrow to raise the rates to meet the current demand. The toll rates just aren’t high enough to hit its congestion goals during peak tolling hours.

It’s important to remember that the tolls here are designed to price people out of the lanes. The higher the price, the more the state hopes people opt to sit in the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main lines.

The goal is to give transit that 45-mile-an-hour trip, 90% of the time.

So, it’s time to raise the rates. Something that hasn’t been done on SR 167 in 15 years and more than eight years on I-405.

There are two options on the table. They are the same for both corridors.

Let’s look at I-405 first. The minimum toll now is $0.75. In both proposals, that minimum would go up to a dollar.

The maximum toll today is $10. It would go up to $12 in one plan and $15 in the second.

For SR 167, the minimum toll is $0.50. It would go up to a dollar in both proposals. The current max of nine dollars would go up to either $12 or $15.

It’s expected that one of these plans will be approved tomorrow. The public will get a chance to weigh in through mid-January.

The new prices are expected to take effect in March.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.


Photo: The Washington State Patrol is cracking down on people who cut in ferry lines....

James Lynch

Don’t be that person: State troopers fine ferry line cutters $145

Have you ever been frustrated by a driver who cut in line at a ferry terminal? Now the Washington State Patrol is cracking down.

15 hours ago

5-car crash sr 900...

Frank Sumrall

Mustang causes 5-car crash on SR 900 after veering onto oncoming traffic

A 5-car crash on State Route 900 (SR 900) in Renton Sunday led to four injured individuals, a five-hour highway backup and a brush fire.

23 hours ago

I-405 Eastside...

Chris Sullivan

I-405 closed, creating traffic nightmare on the Eastside

This is not the weekend to hit the Eastside because Interstate 405 (I-405), south of Bellevue because, is closed.

3 days ago

Image: SR 99 north in Seattle was closed due to a massive fire on Tuesday, July 9, 2024....

Steve Coogan

SR 99 north in Seattle reopens after major brush fire closed it for hours

All lanes on State Route 99 north end at the 1st Ave Bridge in Seattle were blocked Tuesday due to a fire. It reopened Wednesday morning.

6 days ago

sr 11 buckles heat...

Frank Sumrall

Stretch of SR 11 Highway buckles under extreme heat

WSDOT had to shut down State Route 11 to just one lane after concrete panels under the asphalt had buckled due to the region's recent extreme heat.

7 days ago

Image: The Good To Go Flex Pass sticks to a car windshield with small Velcro tabs and can be switch...

Chris Sullivan

‘Convincing’ Good To Go! toll scam rears its ugly head

Scammers are at it again, trying to get your personal information with bogus scam text messages posing as Good To Go! toll reminders.

7 days ago

Could express lane tolls go up to $15? Decisions to come this week