PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: In order to effectively implement the tolling statutes contained in chapters 47.46, 47.56 and 47.63 RCW, the Washington state department of transportation (the "department") will:
(a) Develop and implement administrative rules that support a uniform but flexible toll collection system for the department's toll transportation projects;
(b) Adopt rules regulating toll collections within the state's uniform toll collection system;
(c) Adopt rules, to the extent that technology and resources permit, that establish an open standard electronic toll collection system using automatic vehicle identification technology (AVI) that is compatible with:
• Washington state ferry fare collection;
• WSDOT commercial vehicle information systems and networks (CVISN) program;
• Other public transportation systems using various electronic payment methods; or
• Other toll collection systems using automatic vehicle identification (AVI) technology; and
(d) Adopt rules that allow multiple vendors to provide, as technology permits, electronic payment devices and transponders.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 47.46.105 Toll collections, 46.63.160 Electronic toll collection, photo enforcement, and 47.56.403 High-occupancy toll lane project (HOT lanes).
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The toll rules developed by the department will establish:
(1) An open standard for the transponders used in the automatic vehicle identification technology (AVI) systems that are part of the department's toll projects. An open standard will allow compatibility and interoperability between agencies and transportation systems using AVI technology or some other electronic toll payment/collection device. Such an electronic toll system will increase access and ease of use for consumers of public transportation services, including ferries, bus, rail, freight and tolled public roads and bridges, by using a payment device recognized and accepted throughout the state. Finally, an electronic toll system that allows electronic payment devices to be provided by multiple vendors will help create a competitive environment, reduce costs to the users of those devices and allow the department to take advantage of advances in technology as they occur.
(2) A set of regulations governing toll collections on current (Tacoma Narrows Bridge and HOT lanes) and future department tolling projects.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The department is the only agency charged with developing rules governing the collection of tolls on the department's toll projects. In developing its toll collection rules, the department will involve interested parties such as the Washington state transportation commission, Washington state ferry system, regional transportation systems, the Federal Communication Commission and any citizen advisory committees established to advise the department on toll issues.
Process for Developing New Rule: The proposed rules will be developed by department staff based upon recommendations from interested parties.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting R. David Pope, Toll Systems Manager, Washington State Department of Transportation, Olympic Region, Tacoma Narrows Bridge Project, 3214 50th Street Court N.W., Suite 302, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-8583, e-mail Poped@wsdot.wa.gov or email@example.com, phone (253) 534-4673, (253) 534-4640 or toll free at (877) 762-7769, fax (253) 534-4679.
May 2, 2006
John F. Conrad
Engineering and Regional Operations