Thursday, June 30, 2016

What you need to know to stay Good To Go this summer

By Ethan Bergerson

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, here are some summer travel tips to help you (and your guests) navigate the state’s toll roads this summer.

How visitors can stay Good To Go!
If you have family or friends visiting this summer, this webpage can help visitors navigate our state’s toll roads and billing options. Did you know you can add a guest’s license plate to your Good To Go! account without installing another pass? Or, if you’d rather the in-laws took care of their own bills, then a short-term account is a great way for them to save money and avoid toll bills being sent to them back home. Just remember, if you’re driving a rental please check with the rental agency to see if they add any extra toll charges that are outside of our control.
The I-405 express toll lanes will be open and free to all,
even without a pass, on the 4th of July.

New toll rates on the State Route 520 bridge start July 1
Toll rates on the SR 520 bridge will increase starting Friday, July 1. The new rates will be about 20 cents higher for Good To Go! customers, with a slightly higher increase for Pay By Mail customers which will be $2 more than the Good To Go! pass rate. There won’t be any increase to toll rates on any other toll road, including the Tacoma Narrows Bridge where a planned toll increase was cancelled thanks to new funding from the state legislature.

With the warmer weather, motorcycle riders are hitting the roadway. A reminder that motorcyclists travel toll free on I-405 with a free motorcycle pass. Motorcyclists also ride for free on SR 167 HOT lanes (no pass needed) but need to pay tolls on the SR 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridges.

New toll rates on the SR 520 bridge begin on Friday, July 1.

Customer service update
Customer service has been one of our top priorities, and we’re excited to announce several updates. This week we’re going to implement additional safeguards to help ensure that you don’t get caught off guard by an unexpected bill. If you have a Good To Go! account and you receive an unpaid toll bill (which can happen for several reasons) we’re adding additional notices by phone and email to warn you before you receive a civil penalty. Make sure to keep your contact information up to date so that we can reach you with important account notifications. But don’t panic if you do receive a penalty as one phone call is now all it will take to get unwanted late fees or civil penalties reversed if you ever do get caught by surprise.

Holiday travel
On the Fourth of July, toll rates on SR 520 will be on holiday rates and the I-405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all.

Have a safe and happy holiday!


Helena said...

The extortion toll lanes on I405 have been the biggest mistake in transportation history. We would all be better off if the extortion toll lanes were suspended ASAP! The new and improved configuration would be 4 general purpose lanes and 1 HOV lane. We all need to vote out every one that supports these lanes starting with Judy Clibborn and all the way to Jay Inslee. We need new leadership and Bill Bryant will clean house and free the extortion lanes once and for all!!!

The Geezer said...

So, you frequently talk about pay by mail, but why not mention pay by plate, which is what I do, with such infrequent use?

Vince R said...

I have noticed that there are far fewer articles about GTG.... I guess each time it is posted, there is a lot of negative feedback.

I wonder if it was a contributing factor to the accident that resulted in a death on 405 near 522 recently. Lets see the back peddling and white washing on that one.

WSDOT said...

@Geezer – That’s a good point. Pay By Plate is a very popular option which allows you to add a vehicle to your account without installing a Good To Go! pass. Instead of purchasing a pass up front, you pay $0.25 cents extra per trip, which is still a big savings compared to the $2 Pay By Mail fee for drivers who don’t have an account at all. Plus, you don’t have to worry about bills in the mail and get the convenience of automatic payments. It makes a lot of sense for people who only occasionally use a toll road, or who don’t want to buy a pass for every vehicle. It’s a very popular option - about a fifth of all toll trips last year were paid for in this way.

We talk about it a lot, we even mention it in this blog post when we tell people how to add a guest’s vehicle to their account (click on those links and you’ll see more a detailed description). We just don’t always call it “Pay By Plate” simply to avoid confusion with “Pay By Mail”, especially for visitors who are not used to our toll system and our terminology.

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