Listen in to toll rate discussion

Next week, the Washington State Transportation Commission will meet, not in person, but over the telephone to decide how much people will pay to cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge beginning this summer.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the commission will hold the special meeting with a single agenda item — to review and discuss the 2008-09 TNB toll proposals.

The recommendation by the TNB Citizen Advisory Committee, completed earlier this year, was to raise the regular toll to $4 per car, and the toll for transponder users to $2.75.

Both prices would be increased by a dollar.

Monday’s meeting — which is open to the public — will be conducted as a conference call, and anyone who is interested in listening in may call 605-772-3200.

Then when prompted, enter the PIN number: 404317, followed by the pound (#) sign.

However, the commission will not be taking public testimony or comment during the call, so listers are asked to put their phones on “mute” during the proceedings.

Anyone unable to use their phones to hear the discussion is invited to listen to the meeting at the commission’s administrative offices, located at: 2404 Chandler Court SW, Suite 270, Olympia, WA.

Since space is limited, those interested in attending are asked to call the office at (360) 705-7070.

Once a toll proposal is approved, the commission will begin a required public comment period of not less than 30 days.

On May 20, a public input meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Inn at Gig Harbor, 3211 56th Street NW.

The public is encouraged to attend this meeting and offer comments on the toll rate proposal at that time.

A week later, the commission — May 27 at the same time and place — will hold a final hearing where it will take additional public comment and adopt the final toll rates for the bridge.

Those rates take effect July 1.

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