Narrows Bridge Toll Predictions

Tacoma Narrows Bridge users dodged a toll increase Wednesday and unless something  goofy happens, it looks like they’ll be off the hook until July 1, 2010. Keep in mind that the bond payment was structured to go up every year, and tolls will parallel them until they reach about $6 a trip.

We’ve found out in the first year and a half that the citizens committee wants to keep tolls cheaper for electronic payers than manual ones as sort of a frequent user discount, although the state never meant for it to play out that way (Plus, it costs about 57 cents more to process a toll at the booth). And the state wants to keep the cash payment in even dollars to avoid the cost and hassle of dealing with lots of coins.

Given those parameters, without doing any math or looking at any projections I predict that on July 1, 2010, the tolls will go up to $3.75 for people with transponders and $5 for those without.