The Washington State Transportation Commission today voted to approve toll rates for the State Route 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle. Drivers will not be charged tolls when the tunnel first opens in early 2019, and an exact date to begin tolling has not yet been determined.
The adopted toll rates will range from $1 to $2.25 for drivers with a Good To Go! pass, depending on time of day. Drivers without a Good To Go! account will pay an extra $2 per toll. Toll rates will also be higher for vehicles with more than two axles.
On weekdays, tolls will be $1.50 during the morning peak commute (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.), $2.25 during the evening peak commute (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.), and $1.25 during non-peak hours between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Overnight (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend tolls will be $1.00. Toll rates will increase by 3 percent every three years beginning in July 2022, subject to annual review by the Transportation Commission.
The Transportation Commission has previously determined that there will be consistent exemptions on all toll facilities for public transit, emergency responders, highway maintenance vehicles, school buses and qualified private buses, which serve the public or commuters.
State law requires that SR 99 tunnel tolls be used to repay $200 million borrowed to build the tunnel as well as related debt service costs, and ongoing operations, maintenance, and safety costs.
The Transportation Commission engaged in a five-month long public input process before finalizing toll rates. The commission considered over 1,900 written public comments during this time, and held three public meetings in Seattle during June 2018.