Surface streets in downtown Seattle may see higher numbers after Nov. 9 when state imposed tolls begin on the new Highway 99 tunnel.
Since the tunnel opened in February, various news outlets have reported that usage has peaked at nearly the same numbers that were being seen previously on the Viaduct. Even as monthly maintenance closures began in April, drivers seemed to make necessary changes to their schedules or routes and use the tunnel whenever it’s available.
When tolls begin they will vary by time of day, peaking in the afternoon at $2.25 and falling to as little $1 on nights and weekends. Currently, drivers have just about two months to purchase an electronic GoodtoGo pass.
If you plan to use the tunnel, you can take advantage of an early start and a waiver of the $5 startup fee. But, the state is only waiving around 45,000 passes, so it would be smart to get yours now rather than later. If you go through the tunnel without one, you’ll get a $2 surcharge on top of your toll.