I-405 Express Toll Lanes - Public opinion surveys

In the summer of 2017, we conducted three surveys to determine how different kinds of people felt about the express toll lanes. The surveys each had a different focus:

  • I-405 Public Opinion Survey – All 416 participants had used some part I-405 in the past year, but only 40% had used the express toll lanes during tolling hours.
  • Express Toll Lane Customer Survey – 1373 customers who used the express toll lanes in 2017. Both people who pay tolls and use the lanes for free were represented
  • Business Survey – 1,020 businesses that used the I-405 express toll lanes or SR 167 HOT lanes in past year. Nearly 70% of survey respondents represented locally-owned businesses.
     

What did we find?

Support for express toll lanes has improved

  • All three surveys revealed that 60% of people liked having the option to use the express toll lanes.
  • Those who use the express toll lanes were three times more likely to indicate satisfaction with the lanes than dissatisfaction.

We asked: Do you like having the option of using the express toll lanes for a faster trip?

A graph illustrating the growth of support for the express toll lanes. Sixty percent of respondents now like having the option to use the express toll lanes, while forty percent do not.

*Source: Public Opinion Survey
 

The express toll lanes have helped businesses

  • Nearly two-thirds of businesses said the express toll lane were helpful to their company.
  • 80% of businesses supported continuing to use toll money to fund roadway improvements to reduce congestion.

We asked: How have the toll lanes helped your business?

Forty-seven percent of businesses said they are able to reliably arrive to meetings and that the time they save is worth the cost of tolls. Thirt-two percent say that ETL provide a more timely commute.

*Source: Business Survey
 

Most I-405 drivers think express toll lanes help the regular lanes too

  • 64% of I-405 drivers believed express toll lanes reduce congestion in the regular lanes.
  • Only a third of I-405 drivers believed traffic has worsened since the express toll lanes opened. Nearly half of respondents felt that traffic had improved or stayed the same.

We asked: How do you think the toll lanes affected traffic?

Sixteen percent of respondents say that I-405 traffic has improved, thirty-two percent say that traffic is the same, thirty-three percent say that traffic is worse and twenty percent are unsure.

*Source: Public Opinion Survey
 

People want to continue and expand the system

  • About 60% of customers and businesses who drove between Renton and Bellevue supported expanding the express toll lanes to this area.
  • 40% of customers said they did not want the express toll lanes to be changed to HOV lanes, compared to 38% who believed they should become HOV.

We asked: Should the express toll lanes be extended from Renton to Bellevue?

Do customers support expanding the express toll lane system from Renton to Bellevue? Fifty-seven percent of respondents say yes, twenty-eight percent say they oppose and fifteen percent are neutral.

*Source: Customer Survey
 

Despite increasing support, some aspects are still controversial

  • 38% of customers believed the express toll lanes should be carpool lanes instead.
  • Not everyone who liked having the option to use express toll lanes loved every aspect of them.

Customer quotes: "I love the I-405 Express Toll Lanes. Please don't take that away from me", "The lanes should be free and open to all"

What were our methods?

A random selection of participants from each target population was sent a password-protected invitation to take the online survey. Public opinion survey participants were invited by a third-party market research firm, while customer and business survey participants were randomly selected from the Good To Go! database. All reported data has a 95% confidence level.