What are the SR 167 HOT lanes?
The SR 167 high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes are high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for carpools of two or more, vanpools and buses that are also open to solo drivers who choose to pay a toll. Toll rates adjust electronically to ensure that traffic in the HOT lane is free flowing (at least 45 miles per hour 90 percent of the time) even when the regular lanes are congested. The pilot project provides toll-free express trips for buses, vanpools, carpools of two or more and motorcycles, while giving solo drivers the option to pay for a faster, more reliable trip.
How do I use the SR 167 HOT lanes?
Drivers who want to use the SR 167 HOT lanes as a solo driver must have a Good To Go! pass. Carpools, vanpools and transit do not need a Good To Go! pass and may use the lanes at no charge.
Electronic signs display the current toll price at the various locations. Transit, carpools and toll-paying solo drivers may enter and exit the HOT lane at any point across the single white line. Solo drivers pay one toll per trip for the amount displayed when they first enter the HOT lane and if the lane switches to HOV only, they are allowed to stay.
How do I establish a Good To Go! account or get a pass?
Drivers can establish a Good To Go! account:
Do I have to have a Good To Go! pass to use the HOT lanes?
No, not if you are in a carpool of two or more people or driving a motorcycle. Solo drivers wanting to use the HOT lanes will need a Good To Go! pass.
What if I am in a carpool? How do I prevent a charge to my Good To Go! account?
The Flex Pass is best suited for those who also use the SR 167 HOT lanes as a carpooler. The Flex Pass can be set to "HOV" or "TOLL" mode depending on the number of people in the car. A movable pass can be placed in the gray static bag to avoid being charged while using the HOT lanes as a carpool. If you have a switchable pass, please contact us to get a free Flex Pass as a replacement.
Are motorcycles with a Good To Go! pass charged a toll in the HOT lane?
No. Motorcyclists may use the HOT lane toll free. Motorcyclists with a Good To Go! pass affixed to their headlight do not need to shield the pass. Drivers must contact the customer service center and ensure their vehicle and pass are flagged in the system as a motorcycle. The system is then able to filter out pass reads for motorcycles.
Why are pass readers over both the HOT lanes and the general purpose lanes?
There are two sets of pass readers installed at each tolling location along SR 167 in the HOT lane corridor. The two sets of readers enable the system to pinpoint the exact lane location of a pass. This prevents vehicles with passes traveling outside the HOT lanes from being mistakenly tolled, and tolls post to accounts only for customers in the HOT lanes.
How much does a solo driver pay to use the SR 167 HOT lanes?
The price for a solo driver to enter the HOT lane changes throughout the day based on real time traffic data. SR 167 HOT lane toll rates increase when traffic is heavy and decrease when traffic is light. Variable tolls ensure that traffic always moves smoothly in the HOT lanes at speeds of at least 45 mph 90 percent of the time.
Does SR 167 toll revenue cover the costs to maintain and operate the HOT lanes?
Yes, since April 2011 HOT lanes revenue has exceeded expenditures. When the pilot project was established, revenues were not anticipated to cover these costs initially. The purpose of the project was to use available lane space and help WSDOT learn how to operate a HOT lanes system. Revenues continue to increase as more solo drivers pay a toll to use the SR 167 HOT lanes.
What hours do the SR 167 HOT lanes operate?
The SR 167 HOT lanes operate between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week. Overnight (7 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the HOT lanes are open to all drivers. No passes are necessary and no tolls are charged.
What types of signs will I see driving along the HOT lanes corridor, and what do they mean?
Signs are posted along the entire 10-mile HOT lanes corridor between Renton and Auburn indicating that the far left lane is a HOT lane and is open only to carpools of two people or more, vanpools, transit, motorcycles and solo drivers who pay the electronic toll.
Allowed vehicles signs
Signs are posted indicating that transit and 2+ carpools may use the HOT lane for free, as well as those with a Good To Go! pass ("PASSES ONLY").
Blank HOT lanes signs
When drivers see a blank electronic sign at HOT lane access point, the lane is HOV only and closed to solo drivers.
Toll rate signs
Electronic signs are posted indicating the current toll price. The system calculates a new toll rate every five minutes. The sign will show a toll amount based on the level of traffic in the HOT lane.
If traffic in the HOT lane becomes too congested, the sign will switch to "HOV ONLY," indicating that the lane is closed to all solo drivers, including those with passes. If you have already paid the toll and are in the lane you may stay in the HOT lane and complete your trip. You do not need to get out of the HOT lane.
During overnight hours when HOT lanes are not operating (7 p.m. to 5 a.m.), the sign will read “OPEN TO ALL.” No pass is necessary to use the lanes at this time.
When there's an emergency that blocks the HOT lanes, the sign will switch to "CLOSED," indicating that the lane is closed to all traffic. All vehicles in the HOT lanes must exit at the next access zone.
No crossing double white line signs
This sign reminds drivers that it is illegal to cross the solid double white line that separates the HOT lanes from the two general purpose lanes at the ends of the HOT lanes. Breaking this law may result in fines of $136 or more.
Are there plans to extend the SR 167 HOT lanes?
WSDOT has legislative authorization to continue operating the SR 167 HOT lanes through June 2017. Because WSDOT received authority to continue operating HOT lanes on SR 167, the southbound HOT lane will be extended south to 8th Street East.
How do the SR 167 HOT lanes compare to the I-405 Express Toll Lanes?
What’s the difference between SR 167 and I-405 passes?
Switchable passes can be turned off when carpooling on SR 167 to not pay the toll. Moveable passes can also be removed from the windshield and stored in a static bag to avoid paying the toll.
On I-405, if a Good To Go! customer turns off the switchable pass or stores their moveable pass in the static bag, a toll will still be charged by matching the license plate to the account via Pay By Plate (an extra 25-cents).
How are the HOT lanes enforced?
The Washington State Patrol provides enforcement for the SR 167 HOT lanes pilot project. The fine for illegally driving in a HOT lane or crossing the solid double-white lines is $136. Drivers may report HOT lanes violators online or by calling 1-877-764-HERO.