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Advisory group to consider changes to two-person carpool on 405, 167

A local advisory group will consider changes to the two-person carpool requirement on Interstate 405 and State Route 167 for the corridor’s future express toll lanes at a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The group of 30 area elected officials and transportation agency representatives will hear how four different carpool options could affect both traffic flow and funding options for improvements along the 40-mile I-405/SR 167 corridor.

“We’re considering whether the express toll lanes will be free for two-person carpools, three-person carpools, or a combination depending on time of day,” said Kim Henry, I-405/SR 167 program director. “We are also looking at a discount for all carpools with two or more people.”

The meeting, the second of four, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Kirkland City Hall, 123 Fifth Ave. Members of the public are welcome to attend and provide brief comments. Minutes and materials from the first meeting in January and for upcoming meetings are available online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/tolling/eastsidecorridor.

With the group’s input, WSDOT expects to deliver a finance plan to the governor and Legislature by July.

Express toll lanes offer non-carpool drivers the option to use carpool lanes by paying an electronic toll. Similar to the SR 167 express toll lanes, the express toll lanes on I-405 will operate as an expressway within a freeway, while allowing toll-free trips for transit and vanpools.

The first phase of I-405 express toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood is under construction and scheduled to open to traffic in 2015.

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