Sullivan: Friday marks first commute with higher tolls on I-405, SR 167

Mar 1, 2024, 1:56 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2024, 9:50 am

Happy Increased Toll Day to all those who celebrate.

March 1 marked the first day of the new toll rates on State Route 167 (SR 167) and Interstate 405 (I-405). The minimum rates went up to $1 on both roads. The maximum rates increased to $15.

How did the first commute go with those higher rates?

More from Chris Sullivan: Please don’t pull this jerk move on the road

The conditions were not as “Friday Lite” as we see on some Fridays, but the toll rates climbed anyway. The rate hit $11.75 on northbound SR 167 out of Auburn and $12.25 on I-405 south out of Lynnwood.

It wasn’t the maximum, but certainly higher than I expected and higher than what they needed to be, based on the actual conditions. With conditions like I saw this morning, on I-405 specifically, the rate would usually only hit about $6 on a Friday morning. I’m a toll nerd. I keep tabs on them, but I don’t have detailed stats. After nearly a decade of watching morning commutes, I have a good instinct for these things.

Tolls did reach $15 on SR 167 during the commute late Friday afternoon, KIRO Newsradio confirmed.

Image: Tolls reached $15 in the HOV lane on Friday, March 2, 2024.

Tolls reached $15 in the HOV lane on Friday, March 2, 2024. (Photo: Charlie Harger, KIRO Newsradio)

It seemed like the new algorithm skewed a little high, but Friday was the first day that the algorithm was in use.

More from Chokepoints: Inside SR 520’s safety system in Montlake

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WTSC) raised the toll rates to improve travel times and speed in the HOT lanes 167 and the Express Toll Lanes 405. They are not getting the 45 mph travel times, 90% of the time, that is desired.

By raising the prices, the WSTC is hoping to price more people out of those lanes to make them less congested. The old maximum tolls weren’t getting it done.

We’ll see if the higher prices do the trick.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints here. You can also follow Chris on X, formerly known as TwitterHead here to follow KIRO Newsradio Traffic’s profile on X.


Photo: A driver uses a phone while behind the wheel of a car on April 30, 2016 in New York City....

Micki Gamez

AAA: Washington is one of the worst states for distracted driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and to to shine a light on the subject, AAA Washington has teamed up with Safe Drive Club.

10 hours ago

Image: The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed part of Interstate 90 on Fr...

Steve Coogan

I-90 reopens after a closure due to an emergency tree removal

I-90 reopened after needing to close Friday afternoon due to an emergency tree removal, the Washington State of Transportation said Friday.

4 days ago

I-405 expansion...

Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: I-405 expansion to widen freeway in Bothell is underway

We've all seen I-405 expanding between Bellevue and Redmond, but construction to widen the freeway north of Bothell is now underway as well.

7 days ago

revive i-5 seattle...

Nate Connors

I-5 repair work to slow spring breakers, baseball fans this weekend

Beginning Friday night, three lanes of I-5 north between Albro Place and the West Seattle Bridge through Monday morning at 5 a.m.

10 days ago

Photo: April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Washington drivers can face higher insurance ra...

Nate Connors

Has your insurance gone up? Rates can take a hike for distracted drivers

April is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month. The President of NW Insurance Council says it has been working on prevention for years.

12 days ago

Signs in the eight light rail stations will provide real-time travel data for trains and destinatio...

Chris Sullivan

It’s not the whole enchilada, but light rail to roll on Eastside this month

Light rail service on the Eastside begins later this month. The eight stations are ready to roll. Test trains are running on the tracks.

12 days ago

Sullivan: Friday marks first commute with higher tolls on I-405, SR 167