MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Where that ‘miscellaneous’ revenue from I-405 tolls is going

Nov 18, 2016, 9:15 AM | Updated: 4:38 pm

I-405, tolls, tolling, I-405 express toll lanes...

(MyNorthwest)

(MyNorthwest)

Send KIRO Traffic Reporter Chris Sullivan a traffic tip at @KIROTraffic on Twitter or email him.

Earlier this week we learned just how much revenue the I-405 express toll lanes brought in during the first year of operation. Some of the $21.6 million gross revenue will be used for what the state called “miscellaneous” items in a pie chart.

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Much of those miscellaneous items are things like bills that get mailed to driver, but drivers cover those costs through added fees.

Miscellaneous items include paying for enforcement by the Washington State Patrol, Good to Go! pass equipment and distribution, toll bill printing, postage, and civil penalty adjudication costs.

Out of the $21.6 million gross revenue, $17.5 million is from (higher than expected) toll collections on the I-405 express lanes.

According to the state, of the revenue collected between April and September, 15 percent will pay for the miscellaneous items.

Revenue from the tolls must be used to make improvements on I-405. However, that comes after expenses, which also include toll operations and maintenance and state operations.

Here’s the pie chart that breaks down where the money generated between April and September is going:

I-405_ETL_UseOfFunds_PieChart._510x352px

Over the first year of operation, 10.1 million tolls were paid for, according to the state.

The state reports drivers using the toll lanes are saving an average of 13 minutes over the general purpose lanes. Drivers in the general purpose lanes are also seeing benefits in “most sections of the I-405 corridor,” the state says.

The exception to that is trips on northbound I-405 (between Sr 522 and I-5). Capacity is limited as five lanes reduce to three, creating a bottleneck. The state hopes to implement shoulder driving during peak commute times to help alleviate that traffic.

Here’s how the state breaks down the number of vehicles traveling the corridor:

We’re moving 300-700 more vehicles per hour, per lane in the two express toll lanes compared to the previous HOV lane. Depending on the location, we’re moving up to 200-300 more vehicles per hour in the single express toll lane where no capacity was added compared to the previous HOV lane.We’ve also improved reliability for the express toll lane. When looking at the full corridor trip, the previous HOV lanes moved vehicles at 45 mph or faster 60 percent of the time. When averaged across both directions for the last six months, express toll lanes have improved the percentage of time speeds are meeting 45 mph by 25 percent compared to the HOV lane in 2015.
In the last six months, the express toll lanes have maintained speeds of 45 mph 85 percent of the time during peak periods, below the goal of 90 percent.

The reason the toll lanes fell below that goal, according to the state, has to do with a limited capacity between Bothell and Lynnwood, and increasing demand.

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Where that ‘miscellaneous’ revenue from I-405 tolls is going