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Mayor Mulls Downtown Seattle Tolling System


Could congestion pricing become a reality in downtown Seattle?

Mayor Jenny Durkan recently announced a plan to study whether imposing tolls on downtown Seattle drivers during peak commuting hours would ease traffic, according to the Seattle Times.

Details are still lacking, but the results of the study will come later this year. Durkan hopes to have something in place by 2021. No cities in the United States have such a system.

Both New York City and Los Angeles have considered the idea, while Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia, are also studying the feasibility, The Times reports. London’s tolling system, implemented in 2003, costs about $16 a day on weekdays to drive an 8-mile zone around downtown. 

Seattle council member Mike O’Brien told the Times he supports the plan. Lately, he said he has been hearing more positive feedback from the community.

Meanwhile Eastside’s 405 tolling project, which is a more limited form of congestion pricing, brought in $22M a year in its first two years, but one-third of the funds went toward the cost of the tolling system.

Related Topics: Downtown Seattle, bike commuters