Cars are shown parked at ABM Parking from the Smith Tower observatory on Friday, December 1, 2017, in Seattle.
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Cars are shown parked at ABM Parking from the Smith Tower observatory on Friday, December 1, 2017, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Cheap car tabs could lead to expensive downtown trips

Thirty-dollar car tabs increase the likelihood of tolling on downtown city streets, according to the head of the Washington State Transportation Center, Mark Hallenbeck.

The University of Washington professor says following the vote on I-976, Seattle may need the cash.

"One thing they might want is to replace the money they just lost in vehicle registration fees,” Hallenbeck said in an interview. “Seattle could look at congestion pricing as a way to generate money to mitigate the impact of people who are creating congestion."

Seattle is still studying the prospect of congestion pricing downtown.

State voters approved $30 car tabs this week with the passage of I-976. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the initiative would force the city to cut more than 100,000 bus hours.

She said the city will file a lawsuit to block it from taking effect.