Testing starts today on the all-electronic SR 520 toll system. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will spend at least the next six weeks confirming that the system can process tens of thousands of daily transactions and track revenue that will provide $1 billion in funding to replace the State Route 520 bridge.
If testing runs smoothly, WSDOT expects to complete this effort by mid-June. As soon as all operational testing is complete and all systems components are rock solid, WSDOT will set a start date for SR 520 tolling.
“This testing is more than simply generating and tracking revenue from Good To Go! pass transactions; we’re adding photo tolling into the mix,” said WSDOT Toll Division Director Craig Stone. “The system must be ready to process and generate bills for the 20,000 photo-toll transactions we’re expecting every day.”
Photo tolling enables WSDOT to bill a driver without a Good To Go! pass by taking a picture of the vehicle license plate. The new feature is a key component to all electronic tolling. Initial testing will check that the photo-toll transaction processes properly and generates a bill with the correct toll amount.
After the initial photo-toll functionality check, WSDOT will continue with full operational testing that starts with a photo-toll transaction on the SR 520 bridge. The testing will follow the transaction to a central computer facility that processes the data before sending it to the customer center to generate a bill. Drivers currently using the SR 520 bridge will not be affected by the testing.
As the test transactions start flowing, WSDOT, with vendors Electronic Transaction Consultants Corp. and Telvent, will confirm that the elements of SR 520 tolling are seamlessly working together, including:
· The business processes flow smoothly and the customer representatives are ready to handle the three new photo-toll bill options, including pay by mail, pay by plate, and customer initiated payments.
· Myriad reports that provide a check and balance between all of the systems and equipment continue to function properly.
· The Good To Go! website is ready for customers to manage their active accounts and pay their photo-toll bills.
“Our approach is methodical and our testing will be rigorous,” Stone said. “We need to make sure the entire system is robust enough to handle the sheer volume of transactions and complex business processes.”
SR 520 will use all-electronic tolling, allowing drivers to maintain highway speeds by eliminating traditional toll booths. Toll rates will vary by time of day to encourage some drivers to shift their travel to off-peak hours. To learn more about the Good To Go! program, visit www.GoodToGo520.org.