Monday, April 7, 2008

Secretary Peters visits Seattle to push tolling

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters was in Seattle last week advocating for a pilot tolling program on the 520 bridge. She said the new tolling process, called "congestion pricing," will eventually supplant the federal gas tax as the primary revenue stream for transportation on the federal level.

Congestion pricing is basically charging higher tolls during the high-demand periods on congested roads. For example, a $6-toll may be charged during the morning and afternoon commute hours and then it could be reduced to a $2-toll during the low demand times. Obviously, this is pricing scenario would deter drivers during the commuter hours and likely increase the use of public transit.

Peters was in Seattle to encourage the State Department of Transportation to fast-track the 520 bridge project, as it is one of the first pilot programs for this type of tolling in the country.

Read the Associated Press story on the Northwest Cable News web site here.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.