Updated:KIRKLAND, Wash. —
A new plan to turn Interstate 405's HOV lanes into toll lanes will cost commuters cash, even those who ride to work with a friend.
Currently, only two people are needed per vehicle to ride in the carpool lanes on I-405.
But with new high occupancy toll lanes planned between Lynnwood and Renton, transportation officials may require drivers to have three people per vehicle to avoid paying the toll.
The plan is to install HOT lanes from Lynnwood to Bellevue and have that section up and running in 2015.
Another toll section from Bellevue to Renton would start in 2019.
The variable toll would be at least 50 cents per section.
During heavy commute times, officials expect drivers to pay a few dollars for a drive from Renton to Lynnwood. Statistics have shown people are willing to pay the tolls and HOT lanes elsewhere have improved overall congestion.
But drivers KIRO 7 spoke with think the plan falls short when carpoolers are penalized for only having two people in their car.
"Well, that's kind of stupid because the object is you're saving money when you carpool with someone. So I don't understand who thought this up,” said carpooler MaryAnn Williams.
The public can give project planners their input Monday in Bothell where there’s an all-day meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn on the Bothell-Everett Highway.