Tolling: it’s something we get used to

We know how this works from 520, 405 HOT, and lots of other toll projects in other cities. At first people say “I’LL NEVER PAY.” They stubbornly spend the extra time to avoid the toll. Then, one day, they have an emergency, or find themselves running horribly late. “Just this one time,” they grumble, and they take the toll road, complaining about the “extortion” to anyone who will listen. Then they start to internalize that the trip on the toll road was a lot quicker and simpler. And so gradually, they move to taking it whenever they’re short on time, to whenever they’re a few minutes late, to routinely. And at that point, they start to make rational calculations about when using the toll is worth it, and stop saying “I’LL NEVER PAY.”

— David Lawson, commenting on the future of SR 99 at Seattle Transit Blog