State transportation commission proposes TNB toll rate

The Washington State Transportation Commission took action yesterday on a proposed rule that contains the legal language required to establish and collect tolls for the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB). The Commission is suggesting toll rates of $3 for cash tolls and a $1.75 toll for vehicles with a Good To Go! electronic transponder. In addition, the proposal would allow local law enforcement and local emergency service providers to cross the bridge for free when responding to or returning from emergency calls. Non-emergency trips would be subject to the applicable toll. Washington State Patrol vehicles assigned to the portion of State Route 16 corridor that includes the TNB would be granted a toll exemption.

The Commission considered recommendations by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Citizen Advisory Committee and the Washington State Department of Transportation, prior to making a decision on the proposed toll rate. The Citizen Advisory Committee will have 20 days, until May 20, to review and respond to the proposed rule. Any comments made by the Citizen Advisory Committee will be considered by the Commission.

On May 22, the Commission will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule. The purpose of this meeting is to give citizens an opportunity to provide input into the proposed rule. The Commission will not be taking any formal action at this meeting. The meeting will be held in Gig Harbor, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, Community Rooms A and B, 3510 Grandview Street, in Gig Harbor.

The Commission will hold a public hearing on June 5 in Gig Harbor on the proposed rule. Public testimony will be taken at this hearing and the Commission plans to take final action adopting the proposed rule. The public hearing will be held at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, Council Chambers, from 1 to 3 p.m. The rule becomes part of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and barring any challenges or delays, the new WAC would become effective on July 5.

Good To Go! is a prepaid electronic toll collection system that uses a small transponder adhered to the inside of a vehicle’s windshield. The transponder is read by an antenna mounted over the roadway. Each time a vehicle approaches the toll collection area, the antenna reads the transponder and the system automatically debits the toll from the Good To Go! customer’s prepaid account, allowing the driver to maintain highway speeds.

The Washington Transportation Commission is an independent state agency whose seven citizen members are appointed by the Governor. The Commission has authority for setting ferry fares and highway tolls. More information about the Washington State Transportation Commission can be found at .