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October marks start of 'Move Ahead Washington' legislation impacts

The state legislature approved a transportation package nearing $17 billion this year, impacting roads, pedestrians and public transit.

SEATTLE — Several measures took effect on October 1 that will impact drivers and public transit users in Washington state. Some were tied to the passage of "Move Ahead Washington," a transportation package that invests $16.9 billion over 16 years in projects statewide. 

Starting October 1, children and teens can ride Washington State Ferries vessels for free. The package empowered free fares for passengers 18 and younger on all public transportation. A press release said the package also put $5.4 billion toward "carbon reduction and multimodal expansion," $3 billion toward "maintenance and preservation," and $3 billion toward public transportation. 

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It also puts funding toward removing barriers to fish passage, funding Washington's portion of an I-5 replacement bridge over the Columbia River and building four new hybrid-electric ferries. Also included is funding for an ultra-high-speed rail and walking and biking infrastructure in a number of western Washington communities.

Helping to fund the package, lawmakers have increased fees on Washington state enhanced licenses and IDs. Those government licenses will now cost $3 more per year, meaning a six-year license/ID costs $18 more, and an eight-year costs $24 more. 

Also taking effect on October 1 is a toll reduction on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Legislators and commissioners approved a decrease of at least 75 cents per drive.

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