I-405 Express Toll Lanes – How Your Express Toll Lane Dollars Are Spent

Of the $99.5 million in revenue generated by the I-405 express toll lanes, $32.8 million has been used on operating costs while the remaining $66.8 million has been dedicated for improvements in the corridor.

Our June 2019 financial report (pdf 1.2 mb) for the I-405 express toll lanes shows that they have raised $99.5 million dollars in 45 months. As directed by the Legislature these funds are used for only two purposes:

  • Invest in improvements to I-405
  • Cover operating expenses

Investing in I-405 Improvements

Two-thirds of the money from every toll is going to help improve performance on I-405. In 2017, we invested $11.5 million to build the new northbound peak-use shoulder lane from Canyon Park to Lynnwood. Toll revenue also paid for other improvements, such as a new merge lane in Bothell.

Together, these recent projects improved the northbound afternoon commute. Now more people can get home faster whether or not they choose to pay a toll.

The remaining revenue is being kept in a dedicated fund specifically for more I-405 improvements. Money from this fund can only be spent with Legislative approval.

Operating Costs

While two-thirds of the revenue generated by the express toll lanes will be invested back into I-405 improvements, the remaining third covers tolling costs. Here is a breakdown of the costs (percentage of total revenue shown):

  • 9% Customer service  Our customer service centers, phone hotline, and online support are all based in Puget Sound and help tens of thousands of customers each day. This also covers investments to rebuild our customer service center and update our billing system.
  • 4% Toll equipment - This is the cost to operate and maintain the toll equipment, which includes dozens of high-speed infrared spectrum cameras, laser scanners, and radio frequency identification antennas to recognize vehicles.  
  • 7% Government oversight - About 50 people work in our offices around King County to oversee statewide tolling operations. 
  • 5% Rule Enforcement - About three percent helped pay for Washington State Patrol's trooper enforcement of the rules of the express toll lanes. Two percent went to the Office of Administrative Hearings which hears disputes from drivers contesting unpaid tolls. 
  • 8% Other collection costs - These costs are only associated with certain transactions, like buying a new pass or a Pay By Mail fee paid by drivers without a Good To Go! account. 

More Details

For more details about how your express toll lane dollars are spent view our full 45 Month Performance Report (pdf 1.2 mb) or see quarterly financial statements in our library and publications.