Transportation

The peak toll on the Highway 520 floating bridge that began at $3.50 at the end of last year will rise to $4.35 in 2016 after a series of scheduled increases.

Sound Transit says it reached another milestone in construction of a light rail line through Seattle on Wednesday when a tunnel boring machine reached the Capitol Hill station site after a 10-month dig from the direction of Husky Stadium.

Grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation will help fund ongoing studies looking at critical transportation issues in the Northwest.

Transportation issues affect all of us, whether it’s simply wondering why that red traffic light is blinking, or wondering why the commuter traffic is jammed up again. It’s these kinds of issues, both national and regional in scope, which will be addressed by universities around the Northwest with the help of grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving forward with plans to allow tolls on the proposed Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver. The project will cost as much as $3.5 billion and drivers will likely bear some of that cost.

Public outcry may rescue a popular South Seattle bus line. An amendment to the transit re-alignment plan passed by the King County council late Monday afternoon has temporarily spared the route.

Ten other bus lines that are considered inefficient have been eliminated.

It’s the first phase of a voter-approved plan to make King County's  Metro Transit agency more efficient.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $3.49.

That's up 2 cents in a week and 7 cents in a month. It's 6 cents higher than the national average.

Some metro prices from Monday's AAA survey: Bellingham $3.62, Bremerton $3.54, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.56, Tacoma $3.54, Olympia $3.55, Vancouver $3.53, Yakima $3.61, Tri-Cities $3.29, Spokane $3.18.

If you drove the 520 floating bridge in the past few weeks without a Good To Go pass, expect a bill to come in the mail soon.  The State Department of Transportation sent out 19,000 bills to drivers that will arrive this week.

That might seem like a lot, but it’s a number far less than officials expected.

Courtesy Zach Lewis / theseattlesalmon.com

Get ready for tolling charges on the 520 bridge.

The state department of transportation will be flipping a virtual switch one week from today.

That means now is a really good time to set up a Good to Go account online – or face more expensive travel.

King County Metro

If you rely on the bus to get around Seattle, Shoreline or South King County, changes could be coming to your route. Metro is proposing reducing or redirecting more than 60 bus lines. 

The shifts are part of a plan to use revenue from King County’s car tab fee to preserve bus service.

Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

If you ever drive or walk in Seattle, it’s easy to spot places where the streets and bus system could work better. Voters have a chance to make improvements this fall, if they approve a $60 licensing fee on every car in the city.

However, some complain that the measure would cost too much and deliver too little. 

Charla Bear / KPLU

Seattle has selected a contractor to build its new fleet of streetcars. The city is gearing up to start construction of a route through First Hill. 

Officials say it could be the beginning of many more streetcar possibilities.

Joey Cohn / KPLU

So far – not so bad. That seems to be the upshot of the first weekday commute without the Alaskan Way Viaduct through Seattle. Traffic was slow, but not totally gridlocked Monday morning.

The state Department of Transportation says many people heeded their warnings and changed their commute patterns. That was certainly the case on board the West Seattle water taxi, which picked up nearly twice as many riders.

WSDOT / flickr.com

It's become an autumn tradition: the annual survey of bicyclists and pedestrians in Washington. For the fourth year in a row, volunteers are needed to help the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Cascade Bicycle Club take a statistical snapshot of the number of people who get around by walking and biking.

AP

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has filed a legal challenge to a citizen referendum on Seattle's proposed deep-bore waterfront tunnel.

Holmes has asked a judge to rule on whether the construction agreements between the city and the state that targeted by the referendum are “administrative actions” which can't be overturned by the vote. 

House lawmakers have released their proposed 2011-2013 transportation budget, and it includes less service cuts and a smaller rate hike to Washington's ferry system than Gov. Chris Gregoire's earlier bid.

The House proposal cuts ferry services by $3.1 million, compared to Gregoire's $20 million reduction in her December budget. Gregoire also had proposed a rate hike of 10%. The House proposal puts it at 7.5% in 2011 and 2.5% in 2012.

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