Regarding the newest bridge toll hike (TNT, 6-30), I looked at the numbers that the Washington State Department of Transportation has posted and this is what I came up with.
Vehicles that drive across the bridge without stopping or having a pass were paying $5.50; their new rate is $6, an increase of 9.09 percent. Vehicles that stop at the toll booth were paying $4; their new rate is $5, an increase of 25 percent.
Vehicles that have a pass – which requires no toll taker nor expense to mail out a bill, so there is no extra expense to collect the fee – were paying $2.75; our new rate is $4, an increase of 45 percent.
Maybe I’m just blind to the numbers, but why is the largest increase placed on the people who have the lowest cost of collection? Shouldn’t the rate increase be the same percentage for every category?
I know the toll takers don’t work for free; I know I wouldn’t. And how much does it cost to stuff envelopes and mail bills to people without passes who don’t stop to pay?
The people at the WSDOT pass offices are going to be there to sell passes and collect payments, whether for mailed bills or money to be put on people’s pass accounts, so that cost shouldn’t be part of any argument put forward.