Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving tolling travel tips

By Laura Johnson

Thanksgiving is upon us, one of the busiest travel days of the year. With Washington's tolled roadways — SR 520 Bridge, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, I-405 express toll lanes and SR 167 HOT lanes — that means several things.

Higher traffic volumes on Wednesday. Expect heavy traffic volumes as people hit the roadways Wednesday evening. Toll rates on SR 167 HOT lanes and I-405 express toll lanes adjust based on congestion. In the past, we've seen higher than usual toll rates during peak holiday travel times on SR 167 HOT lanes. Drivers on both SR 167 HOT lanes and I-405 express toll lanes may see higher toll rates if large numbers of holiday travelers use the lanes this year.

Holiday carpool rules on I-405. On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, you'll only need two people to form a carpool all day long in the I-405 express toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood.

Make sure you have your Flex Pass in HOV mode and you won't be charged a toll with two or more people in your car. On Friday, Nov. 27, we're back to the 3+ rule for peak hours (5-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.).

Why don't the weekday carpool rates apply on Thursday? Since most folks have the day off work, volumes are lighter in the peak period commute times and don't require 3+ to manage demand.

Rates on the SR 520 Bridge. Weekend toll rates will be in effect on the SR 520 Bridge on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26. Regular rates will return on Friday, Nov. 27.

Lines at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge tollbooths. There'll be lots of out-of-towners paying their tolls with cash or credit cards at the toll booths for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. We typically see backups at the toll booths after turkey dinner between 5 and 10 p.m. Please be patient and prepare to wait if you choose to stop at the toll booths, or you can choose from one of the several payment methods below.

Expect long lines on Thanksgiving evening at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll booths.

How can your friends and family from out of town pay the toll?
Here are the toll payment options for the SR 520 Bridge, Tacoma Narrows Bridge and I-405 express toll lanes. Solo drivers using the SR 167 HOT lanes must have a Good To Go! pass.
  • Short-term accounts. Visitors can open a short-term account 14 days before their toll trip or up to three days after, with their credit or debit card and pay 50 cents less than Pay By Mail. Just open the account by registering your license plate. The account automatically closes after 14 days.
  • Pay By Mail. Don't have a Good To Go! account? No worries, we'll mail a bill to the vehicle's registered owner, even if you're from out of state.
  • You can add friends and family to your Good To Go! account. You can add family and friends' license plate numbers to your Good To Go! account and they will only pay the Good To Go! rate plus a 25-cent photo tolling fee.
For all the details for people who don't normally use tolled roadways in Washington, visit our Tolling Visitors and Infrequent Drivers Web page. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Good To Go! customer service hours
Our customer service center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27. You can always manage your Good To Go! account online at Customer service will be open normal business hours Saturday, Nov. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Helena said...

If we are lucky there will not be a toll lane on I405 by next thanksgiving. Let's hope representative Harmsworth and Tim Eyman do away with the biggest mistake in transportation history.

Unknown said...

Can someone PLEASE fix the lights on the new 405 off ramp to Bothell? There are about 5 out and it us hard to see in the rain and glare at night. Dangerous!!!

WSDOT said...

Unknown - Thank you for the heads up about the power outage in Bothell. We have alerted WSDOT's maintenance team, and they're on the case!

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