WSR 11-01-127



[ Filed December 20, 2010, 1:51 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-15-095.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Toll and fee setting for toll facilities in Washington state.

Hearing Location(s): Gig Harbor City Hall, 3510 Grandview Street, Gig Harbor, WA, on January 25, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 25, 2011.

Submit Written Comments to: Reema Griffith, P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 9804-7308 [98504-7308], e-mail, fax (360) 705-6802, by January 20, 2011.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Reema Griffith by January 20, 2011, (360) 705-6802.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The commission is required to establish toll rates and fees for vehicles using the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB) that are adequate to cover the debt, operations and maintenance. The purpose of the proposed rules is to amend the transportation commission administrative codes to:

(1) Create new WAC 468-270-045, establish what costs may be paid with toll revenues on the TNB.

(2) Amend WAC 468-270-070, establish toll rates for photo toll transactions.

(3) Amend WAC 468-270-090, remove inapplicable exemptions and update language to be consistent with Washington state department of transportation operations.

(4) Create new WAC 468-270-095, establish what is required to claim an exemption on the TNB and SR 520 Bridge.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The transportation commission is required to establish charges and exemptions for vehicles using the TNB and all other toll facilities in the state. The proposed changes are necessary for the implementation of photo tolling. The rates are calculated to provide sufficient revenue to repay bonds, cover operating costs, and other expenses.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 47.46.105, 47.56.030, 47.56.795, 47.56.850, 46.63.160.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 46.56.030 [47.56.030], 46.63.160.

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 and Enforcement: Reema Griffith, Olympia, Washington, (360) 705-7070; and Implementation: Craig Stone, Seattle, Washington, (206) 464-1220.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rules do not apply to "business in an industry," as described in RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a), but rather the rules apply to vehicles using the TNB.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Pursuant to subsection (5) of RCW 34.05.328, RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to the transportation commission and it is not required to develop a cost-benefit analysis.

December 20, 2010

Reema Griffith

Executive Director


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-13-010, filed 6/8/07, effective 7/9/07)

WAC 468-270-010   Who sets the toll rates and exemptions?   The Washington state transportation commission determines and establishes toll rates and exemptions for state 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))).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100. 07-13-010, 468-270-010, filed 6/8/07, effective 7/9/07.]

WAC 468-270-045   Which Tacoma Narrows Bridge costs may be paid with toll revenues?   Costs that may be paid with toll revenues must directly relate to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and may include costs related to debt service, operations, maintenance, insurance and management. The commission will review detailed financial information including quarterly reports on toll expenditures as provided by the department to determine the appropriate costs to be paid with toll revenues. Determinations will, at a minimum, be based upon the costs allowed under current law, including RCW 47.46.100, 47.46.110, 47.46.140, 47.56.165, and 47.56.245 which include:

(1) Maintenance, operations, repairs, insurance, and management;

(2) Debt service payments on bonds issued, financing, and costs associated with complying with all financial and other covenants made by the state in the bond proceedings; and

(3) Obligations to reimburse the motor vehicle fund for excise taxes on motor vehicle and special fuels applied to the payment of bonds issued for eligible toll facilities.


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-13-038, filed 6/10/09, effective 7/11/09)

WAC 468-270-070   What ((will)) are the toll rates ((be for)) on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?   The toll charges for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are shown in Table 1.

((Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Proposed Toll Rates1 for All Vehicles 2

Vehicle Type Axles Cash Electronic3
Passenger vehicle/Motorcycle 2 $4.00 $2.75
Passenger vehicle with small trailer 3 $6.00 $4.15
Tractor trailer rig/Passenger vehicle with trailer 4 $8.00 $5.50
Tractor trailer with big trailer 5 $10.00 $6.90
Tractor trailer with bigger trailer (6 or more axles) 6 $12.00 $8.25))

1The toll rates are in effect until changed by the commission.
2The base toll rate per axle. It is only used to calculate multi-axle rates, which are calculated as a multiplier of the base toll rate ($2.00 for cash and $1.375 for electronic toll rates).
3The rate for the electronic tolls has been rounded up to the nearest five cents where appropriate.))

Table 1
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Toll Rates

Vehicle Axles Good To Go! Pass Cash Pay By Mail
2 $2.75 $4.00 $5.50
3 $4.15 $6.00 $8.25
4 $5.50 $8.00 $11.00
5 $6.90 $10.00 $13.75
6 or more $8.25 $12.00 $16.50

[Statutory Authority: RCW 47.56.240. 09-13-038, 468-270-070, filed 6/10/09, effective 7/11/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100. 08-12-054, 468-270-070, filed 6/2/08, effective 7/3/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.56.403. 08-06-032, 468-270-070, filed 2/26/08, effective 4/7/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100. 07-13-010, 468-270-070, filed 6/8/07, effective 7/9/07.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-13-010, filed 6/8/07, effective 7/9/07)

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 have a transponder and a valid "Good To Go!" account. Emergency vehicles not equipped with transponders must pay cash as a cash customer.)) Only qualified vehicles may be exempted from paying tolls. The registered owner and operator of the qualified vehicle must comply with the requirements of the department in order to maintain the exemption. The following vehicles shall qualify for exemptions:

(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))) Department maintenance vehicles directly involved in bridge and roadway maintenance on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge;

(((b))) (2) 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))) and

(3) 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)).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 47.56.030, 47.46.100. 07-13-010, 468-270-090, filed 6/8/07, effective 7/9/07.]

WAC 468-270-095   What is required to claim an exemption on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the SR 520 Bridge?   Unless otherwise provided in this chapter and described in chapter 468-305 WAC, in order to receive the exemption and to maintain eligibility for toll exemptions, the department may require that the registered owner of the qualified vehicle or an authorized representative of the owner:

(1) Open and maintain in good standing a "Good To Go!" toll account;

(2) Equip the vehicle with a pass;

(3) Equip the vehicle with identification signage; and/or

(4) Submit a certification that the vehicle meets the exemption requirements.


Washington State Code Reviser's Office