The distance from home to work is the same for KIRO Radio’s John Curley whether he takes the 520 bridge or I-90. And even though the state has proposed its next 5 percent toll hike, Curley says he will continue to bypass I-90 for a very specific reason.
“I can drive the HOV lane illegally far easier on the 520 than I can on I-90,” he said.
Whether you’re driving legally or illegally on 520, the toll is expected to increase 5 percent in July of 2016, followed by another 5 percent the following year.
The Washington State Transportation Commission says this proposed rate increase is lower than previously planned. The commission will hold two public input meetings on April 21, with a final decision on the rate changes coming May 17.
Should the rate increases pass, the weekday peak period rate would increase 20 cents – from $3.90 to $4.10. It would just be another 20 cents, to $4.30, next year. Nighttime tolling (11 p.m. – 5 a.m.) would begin July 1, 2017 at a flat rate of $1.25.
Curley says his first two commutes along the new 520 bridge have gone fine, and that he prefers zip alongside those drivers, as opposed to the ones on I-90 and I-5.
“It’s harder on I-90, there are more cops around,” he said. “I risk it. On certain days, when I’ve got to get somewhere, I’ll risk the $130 fine. You roll the dice.”