More commuters paying to use HOT Lanes on SR 167, WSDOT says
August 20, 2010 · 10:44 AM
Twice as many drivers chose to pay a fee to use the (HOT) lanes (also known as carpool lanes) on SR 167, according to an annual report released Aug. 19 by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
WSDOT launched the four-year HOT Lane project in 2008 with a goal to provide solo drivers who pay an electronic toll without stopping, a faster, more reliable commute while maintaining a free-flowing, free-of-charge lane for transit and carpools.
"We are encouraged by the results outlined in the annual report. These findings allow WSDOT to refine SR 167 HOT lane operations." said Craig Stone, WSDOT Toll Division Director. “We continue to see more people using the HOT lanes, and the benefits extend to all SR 167 drivers – both in the HOT lanes and general purpose lanes.”
Findings from the report include:
More people are paying a toll to use the HOT lanes.
· More than 60,000 Good To Go! customers have paid to use the SR 167 HOT lanes since they opened, double the number from the first year.
· The average number of weekday tolled trips increased 150 percent in the morning northbound commute and doubled during the afternoon commute.
· Gross revenue jumped 33 percent, from $316,600 in the first year to $420,400 in the second.
HOT lane customers and general purpose lane commuters are spending less time in traffic.
· SR 167 HOT lane commuters pay about $1.25 to save an average of eight minutes during the morning rush hour. Some drivers report saving as much as 20 minutes on their commute.
· As more people use the HOT lanes and understand how they operate, WSDOT engineers continue to make operational improvements based on user feedback. The full annual report and more information about the project is available online at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/SR167HotLanes
What’s next for the SR 167 HOT Lanes Pilot Project?
WSDOT started the four-year pilot project to learn how HOT lanes and other forms of variable tolling could be used in Washington to make state highways more efficient at moving people and commerce, and curbing congestion. The department will extend HOT lanes south to Eighth Street East if the legislature authorizes tolling to continue on SR 167 past the four-year pilot period.