Good to Go (toll collection system)
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Good to Go, stylized as Good To Go!, is the electronic toll collection system used by the Washington State Department of Transportation on all current toll projects in the U.S. state of Washington. Good to Go customers prepay a balance into an account and the tolls are then electronically deducted as the customer passes through an electronic toll collection location. Vehicles that are not linked to an account are photographed and a toll bill is sent to the registered owner by U.S. mail (at a higher toll rate). The system debuted in July 2007 on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge and is a part of the high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on State Route 167, which opened in the spring of 2008. All-electronic tolling began on the SR 520 Bridge on December 29, 2011. The Good to Go system is similar to other electronic tolling technology already in place around the country such as FasTrak in California and E-ZPass in the eastern United States. The fares are a significant profit center for Good to Go's out of state owners.
Drivers may set up a pre-paid Good to Go account, with a pre-paid balance of $30, either by purchasing and activating a Good to Go Pass that affixes to their vehicle or by registering their license plate number on a website. Drivers may choose from among five types of Good to Go passes. Credit card account information is typically provided by the customer, so that when the available balance becomes insufficient, the account is automatically replenished by charging a predetermined amount to the credit card.
Currently Good to Go is available for use on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the SR 167 High-occupancy toll lanes, the SR 520/Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and on the I-405 HOT lanes. When using the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with Good to Go, the price for a passenger car $5.00; if paying with cash or a credit card, the toll for a passenger car is $6.00; If using Pay by Mail, the passenger car rate is $7.00. Tolls on SR 167 are variable and must be paid by using Good to Go. Tolls on the SR 520 bridge are variable depending on time of day. The Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel will begin use of Good to Go in summer 2019.
Electronic Transaction Consultants Corp. (ETCC) operates the Good to Go statewide customer service center. TransCore operates the toll booths and camera equipment on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and Kapsch manages the toll collection system on the SR 520 Bridge.
Toll collection systems currently in Washington
Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls
The toll collection system in place for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which carries State Route 16 between the Kitsap Peninsula and Tacoma, has standard toll booth collection lanes as well as three electronic toll lanes that allow for tolls to be deducted from a prepaid account at reduced cost. One of these lanes is for High Occupancy Vehicles only and vehicles in this lane must have a Good to Go account when crossing the toll plaza through the electronic toll lanes. Only the eastbound span, built in 2007, is tolled; westbound traffic on the older bridge is not tolled.
Every car that travels through the Good to Go electronic toll lanes is automatically photographed. If a vehicle passes through the electronic toll lanes without a transponder or Good to Go account, the "Pay by Mail" toll will be charged to the registered owner of the vehicle via the license plate information per the Washington State Department of Licensing. In the case of a malfunctioning transponder for a Good to Go account holder, the toll charge will be posted to the account associated with that license plate number.
SR 520 floating bridge
On December 29, 2011, tolling started on the original SR 520 floating bridge, which ran between Seattle and the Eastside suburbs. The revenue generated from the tolls was used to help pay for the replacement bridge, also tolled, which opened in 2016. All tolling is done automatically with no tollbooths. Tolling for people without Good to Go passes is done by license plate and will either be deducted from their Good to Go account along with a processing fee, or billed by mail at extra cost if they have not established an account. The Good to Go system allows users to purchase RFID "passes" for their vehicles and charges a fee to those without the RFID chips to cover the increased billing costs.
SR 167 HOT (High Occupancy Toll) Lanes
This four-year pilot project on State Route 167 was launched in 2008 to test a new congestion management tool in Washington, allowing solo drivers to pay an electronic toll for use of existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes, without having to stop.
Toll rates fluctuate with the level of congestion to ensure that traffic in the HOT lane flows at least 45 mph, even when the regular lanes are congested.
In May 2008, a single HOT lane in each direction runs along 9 miles (14 km) of State Route 167 between Renton and Auburn in King County. Carpools of two people or more, transit, vanpools and motorcycles may still use the HOT as a regular HOV lane free of the HOT toll. If vehicles with the Good to Go Pass have two or more occupants, the pass must be covered up by a shield or their account will be deducted for the toll. The pilot project was extended through June 2013 by the state legislature in 2011. The HOT lane was extended 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south to Algona in 2016.
I-405 HOT Lanes
WSDOT is implementing a high occupancy toll lanes (HOT lanes) program on Interstate 405, the main bypass around Seattle. The first section of HOT lanes, between Bellevue and Lynnwood, opened on September 27, 2015, and included the construction of an auxiliary lane between Bothell and Bellevue. WSDOT proposes a 40-mile (64 km) system of HOT lanes on the entire length of I-405 and nearby SR 167, with the southern half from Bellevue to Renton scheduled to be completed in 2024. A direct flyover ramp in Renton between the HOT lanes on I-405 and SR 167 began construction in 2016.
- "Tolling starts December 29 on the SR 520 Bridge". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- Lindblom, Mike (December 31, 2011). "40,000 motorists avoid 520 tolling". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Tacoma Narrows Bridge Toll Rates". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Tacoma Narrows Bridge Tolling: Frequently Asked Questions". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- "SR 520 Bridge Tolling". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- "Tolling starts in December on the SR 520 Bridge". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- Lindblom, Mike (April 28, 2008). "Drivers ready to pay when Highway 167 'HOT lanes' open Saturday". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- "SR 167 HOT Lanes celebrate 4-year anniversary; revenue continues to grow, exceed operational costs". Kent Reporter. May 4, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- "SR 167 - 8th to 277th Southbound HOT Lane". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- Bush, Evan (September 28, 2015). "I-405 tolling, day 1: Troopers, commuters respond". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- "I-405 - NE 6th to I-5 Widening and Express Toll Lanes". Washington State Department of Transportation.
- "I-405 40-mile system overview". Washington State Department of Transportation.
- "Atkinson to build $116M flyover that connects SR 167 and I-405". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. June 14, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2016.