First day of weekday tolling for SR 99 tunnel

VIDEO: First day of weekday tolls for SR 99 tunnel

The new chapter of the Seattle squeeze is here.

Tolling on State Route 99 started Saturday.

“I think it was inevitable,” said Jan Slack.

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Slack picked up her Good to Go pass on Monday. She lives in West Seattle and drives the tunnel five  days a week.

“I actually figured it out last night. For just commuting, if I use it in both directions during commuting hours it would be around $81 a month,” Slack said.

According to Washington DOT, there were 35% fewer cars that drove the tunnel on Saturday and Sunday. Volumes at the exits were also higher than normal but there were no backups on 99 or city streets. But officials also want people to keep in mind this is a holiday weekend. They say tomorrow will be the true test with the morning commute and the Sounders victory parade.

“Tomorrow we could see upwards of 35 to 50% of drivers that may try other ways of getting around rather than the tunnel but it remains to be seen how things might work out,” explained Ed Barry, of WSDOT.

WSDOT also wants to remind drivers that tolls are cheapest with a Good to Go pass. Tolls weekday mornings between 7 and 9 are $1.50. Afternoons between 3 and 6 are $2.25. Trips midday and after 6 p.m. cost $1.25. Overnights and weekends are $1. If you don't get a pass and wait for a bill in the mail, each trip will cost $2 more.

Slack said she intends to keep driving the tunnel even if she has to pay.

“What can I say? It's part of living in Seattle. Everything costs a lot,” Slack added.

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