Morning drivers get out of bed early for cheaper 520 tolls

Morning drivers get out of bed early for cheaper 520 tolls

Morning drivers get out of bed early for cheaper 520 tolls

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 5 at 3:50 PM

SEATTLE -- New data is giving Washington state transportation officials insight into commuters' new driving habits one week after the start of 520 tolling.

According to data released Thursday, traffic on the 520 bridge decreased by 35 percent, significantly less than the 45 percent decrease WSDOT officials had anticipated.

Some drivers were taking alternate routes, but data shows traffic on I-90 increased by only 7 percent.

Transportation officials say commuters appear to be changing their habits and leaving their homes earlier to take I-90. 520 commuters also appear to be leaving earlier to pay the lower toll fare before 7 a.m.

No data has been released yet for traffic times on SR 522, I-5 and I-405.

“Every day, drivers are making choices whether to avoid the toll or avoid congestion,” said Toll Director Craig Stone of the Washington State Department of Transportation. “We are seeing signs that we are edging toward that new normal for the morning commute and are closely monitoring where and when drivers are traveling to see what emerges.”

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