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Increased toll rates for Seattle tunnel, Tacoma Narrows approved for Oct. 1

Toll rates are increasing as the state tries to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic.
Credit: KING
Tacoma Narrows Bridge

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Toll rates will increase for the State Route 99 tunnel through Seattle and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on Oct. 1.

A rate increase for the State Route 520 Bridge goes into effect July 1, 2023.

The Washington State Transportation Commission approved the increases Aug. 24. 

The new rates are as follows: 

  • SR 99 tunnel: 15% rate increase for all times of day
  • Tacoma Narrows Bridge: 25-cent increase to all toll rates
  • SR 520 Bridge: tailored increase, average of 15% by time of day

The rate increases come as the state works to regain revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of commuters plummeted. 

Between March 2020 and March 2021, gross toll revenue was $52.7 million below pre-pandemic forecasts due to a decline in vehicles on the road, according to information from the state. The largest traffic declines occurred during peak commute periods when tolls are higher, further impacting revenue loss.

Due to revenue projections and absent subsidies, a toll rate hike is required for the state to meet its financial and legal obligations, according to information presented to the transportation commission in April.