WSR 15-05-028
[Filed February 10, 2015, 8:22 a.m.]
Summary of Tacoma Narrows Bridge Toll Setting Policy
The Washington state transportation commission (WSTC) adopted a policy on March 17, 2010, titled "Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB) Toll Setting Policy." The policy is a nonbinding description of the WSTC's current approach to implementing toll setting statues [statutes] to ensure consistent understanding and application by the WSTC, and to provide guidance, understanding and assistance to the public.
The policy sets forth general assumptions and principles, summarized below:
The TNB has a unique financing structure.
The TNB has an insurance policy which provides adequate protection, but does not apply to losses in toll revenue due to decreases in traffic volumes.
The WSTC preference is to make toll rate changes via the regular rule-making process which takes approximately sixty days to complete (from the time the CR-102 is filed).
The WSTC will set rates in a manner so as to maintain an established sufficient minimum balance (SMB) that is equivalent to four days of working capital.
The policy establishes that the SMB shall not be less than 12.5 percent of annual total TNB costs, measured on a retrospective three month rolling average fund balance. The purpose of the SMB is to cover revenue shortfalls and legitimate cost increases. If there is significant risk that the SMB will fall below the established target, the rate setting process will be triggered.