WSR 07-10-128

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed May 2, 2007, 10:29 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-24-119.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Setting toll amounts for toll facilities in Washington state.

Hearing Location(s): Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, on June 5, 2007, at 1 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 5, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Reema Griffith, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail griffir@wstc.wa.gov, fax (360) 705-6802, by June 5, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Reema Griffith by June 5, 2007, TTY (800) 833-6388 ask to be connected to (360) 705-7070.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Pursuant to RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100 (Tacoma Narrows Bridge); and RCW 47.56.403 (SR 167 HOT lanes) this rule defines terms for toll facilities and establishes toll rates for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. In addition, vehicles exempted from paying tolls are defined.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The commission is required to establish toll rates for vehicles using the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that are adequate to cover the debt, operations and maintenance.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Washington state transportation commission, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Reema Griffith, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 705-7070.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules do not apply to "businesses in an industry," as described in RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a) but rather the rules apply to ALL vehicles using the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, commercial or noncommercial vehicles alike.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington state transportation commission is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

May 2, 2007

Paul Parker

for Reema Griffith

Executive Director

OTS-9710.5

Chapter 468-270 WAC

SETTING TOLL AMOUNTS FOR TOLL FACILITIES IN WASHINGTON STATE


NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-010   Who sets the toll rates and exemptions?   The Washington state transportation commission determines and establishes toll rates for toll facilities in Washington pursuant to RCW 47.56.030; 47.46.100 (Tacoma Narrows Bridge); and RCW 47.56.403 (SR 167 HOT lanes).

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-020   Who collects the tolls and how are they collected?   The department is ultimately responsible for collecting tolls. However, the department may contract with one or more independent toll collection companies to manage the day-to-day toll collection activities at its various toll facilities. All toll related revenues collected by any independent toll collection company through WSDOT are payable to the state of Washington.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-030   Definitions.   "Authorized emergency vehicle" includes but is not limited to a vehicle of any fire department, police department, sheriff's office, coroner, prosecuting attorney, Washington state patrol, ambulance service, public or private or any other emergency vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.040.

"Bona fide emergency" occurs when an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined herein, responds to or returns from an emergency call.

"Cash customer" means a toll customer who is heading eastbound and is paying the toll in cash on a trip-by-trip basis.

"Cash lane" means a lane in use by a cash customer.

"Citizens advisory committee" means the citizens committee established by RCW 47.46.090 that advises the transportation commission on Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll rates.

"Department" means the Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT).

"Electronic toll collection (ETC) lane" means a lane in which the electronic toll collection system will read the transponder of each vehicle and automatically collect the toll without requiring the vehicle to slow its speed or stop.

"Good To Go!" is the name of the department's electronic toll collection system.

""Good To Go!" customer" means a toll customer who participates in the department's "Good To Go!" toll collection system.

"High-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes" means one or more lanes of a highway that charges tolls as a means of regulating access to or the use of the lanes in order to maintain travel speed and reliability. HOT lane supporting facilities include, but are not limited to, approaches, enforcement areas, improvements, buildings, and equipment.

"Transponder" means a radio frequency identification (RFID) unit attached to a toll customer's vehicle that transmits a radio signal to a reader mounted in the toll facility. The purpose of the transponder is to automatically identify the toll customer's vehicle as it passes through the toll facility. You will receive a transponder when you open a "Good to Go!" account.

"Transportation commission" means the Washington state transportation commission whose duties and composition are set out in chapter 47.01 RCW.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-040   How are the tolls determined?   In determining toll amounts, the transportation commission considers data and information provided by the department of transportation, public opinion and advice from any required citizen advisory committee. For the Tacoma Narrows Bridge only, in accordance with chapter 47.46 RCW, the commission must consider the toll rate advice of the citizen advisory committee and must set toll amounts that cover the debt and operations and maintenance until the indebtedness is repaid as required by law.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-050   What toll facilities are currently subject to this chapter?   Currently, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and SR 167 HOT lanes are covered by this chapter.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-060   How often will the toll rates for each toll facility be reviewed for potential change?   The toll rates will be reviewed and subject to change at least annually and more often as necessary to ensure the toll revenue of each facility is meeting the payment requirements and/or traffic efficiency requirements for that facility.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-070   What will the toll rates be?  


Rate table $3.00 cash/$1.75 "Good to Go!" (two axle vehicles)

Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Cash toll rate "Good To Go!" toll rates
2 axle $3.00 $1.75
3 axle $4.50 $2.65 (3)
4 axle $6.00 $3.50
5 axle $7.50 $4.40 (3)
6 or more axles $9.00 $5.25

SR 167 HOT lanes
To be determined


Notes:
(1) The base toll rate is the toll rate per axle. It is only used to calculate multi-axle rates, which are calculated as a multiplier of the base toll rate ($1.50 for cash and $0.875 for "Good to Go!" toll rates).
(2) The "Good To Go!" toll rates are in effect through June 30, 2008, or until changed by the commission. If no further action is taken by the commission, on July 1, 2008, the cash toll rate column becomes the toll rate for all vehicles.
(3) Rate rounded up to nearest five cents.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-080   When are these toll rates in effect?   The toll rates for each facility will take effect upon commencement of the tolling program on each new toll facility. Check the WSDOT web site at wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo for updated information on the opening dates for the tolling programs.

(1) For the Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll rates will remain in effect until changed by the commission or removed due to final repayment of the project as provided by law.

(2) For the SR 167 HOT lanes, the tolls will remain in effect until changed by the commission.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-090   What vehicles are exempt from paying tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?   Except as provided herein, all vehicles crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in an eastbound direction must pay the required toll. All vehicles that use the ETC lanes on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge must be equipped with a transponder. Emergency vehicles not equipped with transponders must pay cash.

(1) Only the following vehicles providing service directly to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are exempt from paying tolls, but must be equipped with transponders:

(a) Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT) maintenance vehicles directly involved in bridge and roadway maintenance on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge;

(b) Washington state patrol vehicles directly providing service to the SR 16 corridor in the vicinity of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge;

(c) Vehicles under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge design build contract that must cross the bridge as part of their construction duties to complete the requirements of the design build contract. This exemption status will expire on July 1, 2008, or upon completion of their construction duties, whichever comes first.

(2) Authorized emergency vehicles on bona fide emergencies as defined herein may apply for credit for their emergency trips and for the return trip from an emergency call.

(a) To be eligible for a credit, an authorized emergency vehicle must be equipped with a transponder and have an authorized prepaid account.

(b) Emergency vehicles that use the ETC lanes on a bona fide emergency may apply for a credit for each emergency trip. The credit must be applied for within six months of the trip date. The department will establish and oversee the procedure for emergency vehicle toll credits.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-270-100   What vehicles are exempt from paying tolls on the SR 167 HOT lanes?   RCW 47.56.403 establishes an exempt category of vehicles. The transportation commission may include other exempt vehicles before tolling commences.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office