WSDOT Toll Equity

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) uses tolling as a key mechanism for managing demand on I-405, SR 167, SR 99, and SR 520, and to fund megaprojects such as SR 16. Tolls impose a significant expense on roadway users, and while tolls are true “user fees,” imposition of these fees can have serious equity concerns. This concern has been voiced by the State Legislature, the State Transportation Commission, and the WSDOT Secretary. Work by the University of Washington’s (UW) Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program for the WSDOT’s Tolling Division provided excellent insight into the equity of the tolling program on I-405’s Express Toll Lanes. However, little is known about the equity impacts of WSDOT’s other facilities. This project is intended to provide additional insight into the equity of WSDOT’s toll facilities. The outcomes from this project will serve as the basis for evaluating use of the facility, and the implications of that use on the equity of toll facilities. The project is designed to (1) provide WSDOT with a better understanding of the current use of the department’s toll facilities; (2) examine how the combination of household income and tolling effect the use of state roadways, (3) provide an understanding of how benefits and costs associated with toll facilities are currently being distributed; and (4) provide a baseline of use against which changes in those attributes can be measured against changing economic conditions (e.g., COVID related changes in overall traffic levels) or policy decisions (e.g., the introduction of a low-income toll tag).


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $200000
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Washington State Department of Transportation

      Research Office
      P.O. Box 47372
      Olympia, WA  United States  98504
    • Project Managers:

      Brodin, Doug

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Washington, Seattle

      Washington State Transportation Center
      1107 NE 45th Street
      Seattle, WA  United States  98105
    • Principal Investigators:

      Hallenbeck, Mark

    • Start Date: 20220615
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01850987
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Washington State Department of Transportation
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jul 1 2022 4:24PM