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47.56.401  <<  47.56.403 >>   47.56.600

RCW 47.56.403

High occupancy toll lane pilot project.

(1) The department may provide for the establishment, construction, and operation of a pilot project of high occupancy toll lanes on state route 167 high occupancy vehicle lanes within King county. The department may issue, buy, and redeem bonds, and deposit and expend them; secure and remit financial and other assistance in the construction of high occupancy toll lanes, carry insurance, and handle any other matters pertaining to the high occupancy toll lane pilot project.

     (2) Tolls for high occupancy toll lanes will be established as follows:

     (a) The schedule of toll charges for high occupancy toll lanes must be established by the transportation commission and collected in a manner determined by the commission.

     (b) Toll charges shall not be assessed on transit buses and vanpool vehicles owned or operated by any public agency.

     (c) The department shall establish performance standards for the state route 167 high occupancy toll lane pilot project. The department must automatically adjust the toll charge, using dynamic tolling, to ensure that toll-paying single-occupant vehicle users are only permitted to enter the lane to the extent that average vehicle speeds in the lane remain above forty-five miles per hour at least ninety percent of the time during peak hours. The toll charge may vary in amount by time of day, level of traffic congestion within the highway facility, vehicle occupancy, or other criteria, as the commission may deem appropriate. The commission may also vary toll charges for single-occupant inherently low-emission vehicles such as those powered by electric batteries, natural gas, propane, or other clean burning fuels.

     (d) The commission shall periodically review the toll charges to determine if the toll charges are effectively maintaining travel time, speed, and reliability on the highway facilities.

     (3) The department shall monitor the state route 167 high occupancy toll lane pilot project and shall annually report to the transportation commission and the legislature on operations and findings. At a minimum, the department shall provide facility use data and review the impacts on:

     (a) Freeway efficiency and safety;

     (b) Effectiveness for transit;

     (c) Person and vehicle movements by mode;

     (d) Ability to finance improvements and transportation services through tolls; and

     (e) The impacts on all highway users. The department shall analyze aggregate use data and conduct, as needed, separate surveys to assess usage of the facility in relation to geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic information within the corridor in order to ascertain actual and perceived questions of equitable use of the facility.

     (4) The department shall modify the pilot project to address identified safety issues and mitigate negative impacts to high occupancy vehicle lane users.

     (5) Authorization to impose high occupancy vehicle tolls for the state route 167 high occupancy toll pilot project expires if either of the following two conditions apply:

     (a) If no contracts have been let by the department to begin construction of the toll facilities associated with this pilot project within four years of July 24, 2005; or

     (b) If high occupancy vehicle tolls are being collected on June 30, 2015.

     (6) The department of transportation shall adopt rules that allow automatic vehicle identification transponders used for electronic toll collection to be compatible with other electronic payment devices or transponders from the Washington state ferry system, other public transportation systems, or other toll collection systems to the extent that technology permits.

     (7) The conversion of a single existing high occupancy vehicle lane to a high occupancy toll lane as proposed for SR-167 must be taken as the exception for this pilot project.

     (8) A violation of the lane restrictions applicable to the high occupancy toll lanes established under this section is a traffic infraction.

     (9) Procurement activity associated with this pilot project shall be open and competitive in accordance with *chapter 39.29 RCW.

[2013 c 306 § 709; 2011 c 367 § 709; 2005 c 312 § 3.]

Notes:

     *Reviser's note: Chapter 39.29 RCW was repealed by 2012 c 224 § 29, effective January 1, 2013. See chapter 39.26 RCW.

     Contingent effective date -- 2013 c 306 § 709: "Section 709 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect June 30, 2013, unless *chapter . . . (Substitute House Bill No. 1745), Laws of 2013 is enacted on or before June 30, 2013, in which case section 709 of this act does not take effect." [2013 c 306 § 1404.]

     *Reviser's note: Substitute House Bill No. 1745 was not enacted on or before June 30, 2013.

     Effective date -- 2011 c 367: See note following RCW 47.29.170.

     Intent -- Captions--2005 c 312: See notes following RCW 47.56.401.