Wednesday, October 14, 2015

First bills are in the mail: #405ETL

By Ethan Bergerson

If you've used the I-405 express toll lanes and don't have a Good To Go! account, you may have already received a toll bill in the mail. If not, you should see one soon. You'll see that each toll transaction has an added $2 charge for Pay By Mail.
Here's a few helpful tips for how to handle your bill:

You can save money by opening a Good To Go! account
  • It's not too late to open a Good To Go! account. You can save $1.75 per toll by calling customer service at 1-866-936-8246, opening a Good To Go! and asking them to post the tolls to your account via Pay By Plate.
  • You'll need to call customer service to do this because you can't do this online.
How do I read my toll bill?
Your toll bill will show the toll point at which you exited the express toll lanes. These are a little different than the access points. The toll points are where the toll equipment is located above the roadway. The images below show a sample toll bill and a map of each toll point northbound and southbound.


Here is an example of how to decode this trip on your bill: 405LB-SB04-01.
  • 405LB Traveling southbound on I-405 between Lynnwood and Bellevue
  • SB04 The last toll point where your vehicle was seen in express toll lanes before exiting, which in the example was the access point just south of NE 160th St.
  • 01 The lane you were traveling in. If you were in the two-lane section it will be either 01-02.
If you have any questions about the new I-405 express toll lanes bills, contact us. It's part of the learning curve we all have with these big changes.

Carpooling and didn't know you needed a Flex Pass?
If you didn't know the new rules for carpoolers, you can call customer service and we'll waive your first Pay By Mail toll bill.
To avoid getting charged as a carpool in future, you'll need to get a Good To Go! account with a Flex Pass set to HOV mode and the right number of occupants.
Reminder: If you carpool at least once a week on I-405, you can get a Flex Pass for free.

Reminder: Billing timeline
Due dates are clearly listed on each bill. In general, if you don't pay your toll bill within 15 days, you should receive a second toll bill with a $5 reprocessing fee. If you don't pay your toll within 80 days a notice of civil penalty (NOCP) will be assessed in the amount of $40 for each unpaid toll.
If you haven't heard, customers with NOCPs can have their penalties waived one-time if they agree to pay outstanding tolls.

I have a Good To Go! account – when will I see my charges?

Carpoolers traveling toll-free with a Good To Go! Flex Pass in HOV mode will not see any trip information on their Good To Go! account. Drivers paying a toll to use the express toll lanes, should expect it will take up to five days before the toll is deducted from their Good To Go! account.

Let us know if you have a concern about your bill
We have been working hard to prevent billing problems, but if you have any questions or concerns about your bill please let us know right away. Remember, if you have a Good To Go! account and receive a bill in the mail, it means that there is an issue with your account and you should contact us immediately so that we can fix it and prevent problems in the future (pdf 159 kb).

Double check for double Charges
Some bills may contain double charges for a single trip, so double check your bill and let us know if you see a mistake. There has been a lot of confusion about this issue, so let's set the record straight.
  • This issue affects less than one percent of all I-405 express toll lane transactions. Only 140 bills were sent out with this error.
  • No one will be charged and we will contact these customers to remove the duplicate charge. We have already taken steps to correct most of these mistakes and caught over 3000 mistakes before bills were sent out.
  • Billing issue is a top priority for us, and we are taking steps to fix these errors immediately. Reports that it would take us up to a year to correct the mistake are completely unfounded.
Motorcycles
If you were billed for driving a motorcycle with a motorcycle pass on I-405, contact customer service to get help troubleshoot the issue.
  • Make sure your motorcycle pass is mounted horizontally on your headlamp (pdf 161 kb). To prevent charges from reoccurring you may need to visit a customer service center so that we can test your pass and replace it if it defective or incompatible with your motorcycle.
  • If have a Good To Go! account, you can check for erroneous charges online. Newer motorcycle passes should not show any record of I-405 express toll lane trips online. Older motorcycle passes will show a toll and a credit (note that your credits may only be visible in the "account history" page, not the "my account" page.)

23 comments:

Jeff Gray said...

I fully expect W$DOT will be slapped with another class action lawsuit like the one that stemmed from the 520 tolling debacle. Also, I notice you are apparently denying the article in the Seattle Times today that states that around 3,300 people have already been double tolled? Any comment? Oh, and speaking of comments...you should check out the comment section of that article. The rage is building at a shocking rate, W$DOT.

Just so you know, I will be laughing with glee as the lawsuits begin to pile up.

WSDOT Toll Division said...

Good afternoon, Jeff. I again extend our apology for the system error. We caught the error before the accounts were charged for the 3,000+ transactions. We are locating the 139 individuals without accounts who received a toll bill that the second charge was in error and it will be refunded.

The Geezer said...

Yeah, W$SOT, I like that moniker!

This says $2 PER TOLL surcharge, not per bill.

Is that accurate? I thought the $2 was for mailing the bill.

And, can you clarify that the pay-by-plate fee is 25 Cents? It is not clear to the sheeples, though Emily clarified it for me.

The Geezer has spaketh

Eric K said...

I read in here that carpool activity with the flex pass properly in the HOV mode will not show up on my toll bills (even with no charge). How will you prevent my account from being closed automatically for "no activity" and can I please get a partial refund of my balance that you required me to deposit that will take years for me to use since I primarily use the lanes when I am eligible for carpool status.

Aaron said...

We've been driving up and down the I-405 ETL for the past month since tolling started with a Flex Pass set to HOV mode. I just checked our online account and discovered that WSDOT has been charging us for every trip (plus an added $0.25 photo processing fee for each trip).

Knoydart said...

I occasionally Car Pool in the HOV lanes of I405. WA DOT repeatedly assured the public that HOV users would travel for free.

The TRUTH is that this so called "free" costs me $45, which is NOT "free". First I have to buy a stupid Good2Go pass for $15, then activate it & this means I have to deposit a minimum of $30, no choice. Any honest organization would offer "HOV Only", with no account funding required & if you travel in the Toll Lanes you get billed like everyone else who doesn't have a Toll Lane account active. It's something the system could easily accommodate if a little thought & consideration were applied.

But then you wouldn't have a massive, interest free loan from the public. No wonder people say "Government can't do anything right." This is a blatant extortion.

WSDOT Toll Division said...

Hi Geezer – You are correct, $2 is added to the toll to process and mail the bill for folks without a Good To Go! account. The pay by plate fee is $0.25 on top of the toll to process the photo of your license plate and locate your address through DOL.

WSDOT Toll Division said...

Hi Eric K – That’s correct, carpool activity will not show up on your account. To reset the two year timeline you can log on to your account, or call customer service and ask a question. To get a refund, please email goodtogo@goodtogo.wsdot.wa.gov with your account information and a refund request.

WSDOT said...

Aaron – Have you tried linking your Flex Pass to your Good To Go! account? Contact Good To Go! customer service for billing questions and they will be happy to help you resolve the issue.

kimi mila said...

How long does it take for your bill to come in the mail. I used the lanes last week and still haven't received a bill. Just want to make sure I pay it on time.

WSDOT said...

Hi Kimi – thanks for checking. It’s taking around 2 weeks (10 business days) for folks to receive bills in the mail. Let us know if you don’t receive it next week.

Jay said...

I'm wondering why it takes so much longer for 405 tolls to post than it does for 520 on the good to go site? I drove from Seattle to SR527 via 520 and the ETL last night -- the bridge toll has shown up in my account already, but the ETL tolls have not.

Can I expect to see these in my Good To Go account or will I be mailed a bill? Also, will the ETL tolls eventually post near-instantly, like 520, in the future?

Thanks for saving me tons of time last night!

Tami Hodge said...

I still haven't received a bill. It has been a month. When should I expect it?

WSDOT said...

We are glad to hear express toll lanes are saving you time! As anticipated with the new system, it may take up 5 days to see express toll lane charges added to your Good To Go! account. We expect that with time, toll charges will appear more immediately.

Aaron said...

My issue above turned out to be a defective flex pass. It would only scan in toll mode and wouldn't register anything in HOV mode. FWIW, it was a 'promo' flex pass from RideShareOnline that I got for free in the mail earlier this year. My issue was resolved by getting it tested and then swapping it for a new pass at the GTG customer service center.

WSDOT said...

Tami, you should have received a bill by now. Please call our customer service center with your license plate number and they can help you find out what's going on (1-866-936-8246). Please be prepared for long hold times.

Michael Allen said...

WSDOT, before you came out with this two bit. Good To Go pass, motorcycles were doing just fine in the HOV lane. Why don't you ELIMINATE it and let us ride in PEACE!! Simple solution!!!

WSDOT said...

@Michael Allen – Thank you for sharing your frustration with us. I want to assure you that we have looked into several other options besides the pass, including comparing license plates with vehicle registration data, but unfortunately a comprehensive list of all motorcycle license plates does not exist and our tolling equipment just isn’t able to tell that a bike is a bike 100% of the time without it. In comparison, Good To Go! pass reads are 99.9 percent accurate. Passes greatly reduce the processing cost and error rate. Thus, after carefully considering all of the options and their impacts, we have concluded that offering free motorcycle passes is the most reliable and cost effective way to provide motorcycle toll exemptions on the lanes.

Unknown said...

So if we weren't up north that day and we got a bill and our car wasn't up there what do we do we live in Longview WA hours away

WSDOT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WSDOT said...

Unknown, toll bills are sent to the address of the vehicle’s registered owner. I would recommend emailing GoodToGoTolling@wsdot.wa.gov with the toll bill information. They will identify which license plate was used in this transaction and whether there was an error on our part. If so, we will waive the fee. BTW, it may be a couple days before they respond back to you. Thanks for your patience!

tyrred said...

Today I received a toll bill in the mail. The date was listed as 2/12/2016 and the location was listed as 520W-520WB-02. Where is this location?

I can't find any usable tools on the WSDOT website to find out exactly where this toll was attributed. It certainly appears to be from a location on SR 520, a State Route that I have not driven on in my vehicle since BEFORE the tolling was even introduced.

In order to dispute this toll, I need to see the evidence.

Why is there no photographic evidence of my license plate for this date and this location provided on my bill?

Where can I get this evidence?

WSDOT said...

Tyrred, Sorry for the mix-up. The SR520WB-02 is the ramp from NE 84th St. to SR 520 westbound. I recommend you call customer service (1-866-936-8246) or email goodtogotolling@wsdot.wa.gov to have the issue resolved. It may be possible that the license plate was misread or the vehicle that incurred the charge is still registered to you. You can also find more details about the toll bill at mygoodtogo.com.