#405ETL Pricing Algorithms Continue to be a Total Failure

From the beginning, the algorithms used to determine pricing in the I-405 Express Toll Lanes have been a complete and utter failure.  This boggles my mind at the level of failure WSDOT has achieved.  I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe give them time to “work out the bugs” as they conduct experiments on us.  But wait… That was what was supposed to have been done using SR167 as the pilot project before throwing ETLs onto one of the busiest highways in the state.  Here are two recent examples (among many):

Scenario 1:  It is Friday , August 5th at 9:15am. You’re driving southbound on I-405 in the Mill Creek area approaching SR527. You are headed to Redmond via SR520.  Traffic is a bit slow and you’re considering using the ETL. You’re by yourself, so you’ll have to flip your pass to Toll and pay.  You have 2 seconds to read the following sign while driving:


The pricing reads:
NE 128th St = $2.00
NE  85th St = $1.75
NE   6th St = $2.00

You are headed to SR520.  How much will you pay?

Scenario 2:  It is Monday, April 4th at 2:54 PM. You are driving by yourself northbound on I-405 through Renton headed to Everett. You pull out your smartphone and check the WSDOT Tolls app for pricing (yes, you’re a distracted driver, but it must be OK because WSDOT made the app, right?)  The  WSDOT website shows the following:

Weird Toll Prices

At a glance, you see the price to I-5 read as follows:
NE 8th St to I-5 = $4.50

But looking more closely you’ll notice if you drive to SR522, exit the ETL, then get back in, you can save $3.00.  It looks like this:

NE 8th St to SR 522 = $0.75
…… +  SR522 to I-5 = $0.75
…………………Total = $1.50

Same distance.  Same time. Two different rates.
WSDOT, you say ETLs make travel on I-405 more reliable?  …

For more info about the Myths of the ETLs, review the extended slide deck below. Be sure to watch the accompanying video :

Please sign the petition, contact your legislators (using the link at the top of this page), and the share this with everyone you know to amplify your voice.  If you are reading this via email, the graphics may not appear.  If so, go to http://stop405tolls.org to see this article.

Posted in Uncategorized
3 comments on “#405ETL Pricing Algorithms Continue to be a Total Failure
  1. Paula Furick says:

    Friday night’s news ( 8/5) reported that traffic accidents on the ETL portion of I-405 have doubled since the start of the tolling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete Veazey says:

    Now here’s some stupid. The scenario 1 sign says NE 128th St = $2.00
    NE 85th St = $1.75
    NE 6th St = $2.00

    NE 128th is way before NE 85th and NE 6th. Makes you wonder what MORON is running the show here.. And there is no Exit at NE 128th ! Really ?


  3. We don’t think of it, but the direct access ramp for the ETL is at 128th. I tweeted this image to @WSDOT and they replied “thank you for telling us. We fixed it.” Really?! Someone is not doing their job.

    Liked by 1 person

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