State legislators have found a new use for the Good to Go pass that some drivers already have for the 520 bridge tolls.

A new transportation spending plan proposes using the passes for ferry commuters.

The prepaid ferry passes would be used for payment, reservations, customer service, and would allow passengers to bypass ticket booths to get straight into line.

This would also help streamline a ferry system that is short on cash.

The Washington House Transportation Committee unveiled their proposed budget on Thursday morning. The $8.4 billion proposal is $1.4 billion less than the last biennium, largely due to declining gas tax revenues.

The cost savings come from the elimination of lower-traffic ferry runs, a 5 percent reduction in toll operations, and staffing reductions at the Department of Licensing and WSDOT.

However, committee members warned that the cuts were only a short-term fix for the budget shortages. Declining gas tax revenue means the outlook for the transportation budget is not good.

We are moving forward with a budget that will keep current promises, but the next budget will look much grimmer if we don't take action, said Rep. Marko Liias (D-Mukilteo), vice chair of the committee This is a band-aid for our transportation system, not a long-term solution for moving people and goods around our state.

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