SEATTLE – Motorists who crossed the State Route 520 bridge or Tacoma Narrows Bridge without a Good To Go! account, should check their mail for a toll bill.
Toll Division Director Craig Stone of the Washington State Department of Transportation said a few drivers might be surprised how quickly tolls add up.
“We’re pleased that the majority of vehicles crossing the SR 520 bridge have a Good To Go! pass,” Stone said. “But we’re also seeing a few very high Pay By Mail bills. One bill had 108 transactions. That’s an extra $162 this vehicle owner could have saved on tolls with a Good To Go! pass, which gets the lowest toll rate available.”
Pay By Mail allows vehicles without a pass or not registered to a Good To Go! account to use the electronic toll lanes. The vehicle’s registered owner gets a toll bill in the mail about 14 days after crossing one of the two tolled bridges. Those who don’t pay within 15 days get a second bill with a $5 reprocessing fee. The longer they wait, the costlier it gets. People with unpaid tolls receive a notice of civil penalty and a $40 fine in addition to the late fee for each toll left unpaid after 80 days.
WSDOT sent courtesy reminders today to people with 50 or more unpaid toll transactions to let them know they will receive a notice of civil penalty and a $40 fine for every toll that remains unpaid for 80 days.
“The registered vehicle owner is responsible for the bill, not the driver, so don’t ignore a toll bill,” Stone said.
Drivers can pay their toll bill online, by calling 1-866-936-8246, by mail or in person at a customer service center in Seattle, Bellevue and Gig Harbor. They should also contact the customer center if they haven’t seen a bill in the mail two weeks after their vehicle crossed one of the bridges. Anyone who drives SR 520 across Lake Washington or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at least once a month should open a Good To Go! account to save $1.50 on each toll.
About tolling on the SR 520 bridge
Tolling on SR 520 is expected to raise $1 billion overall toward the $4.65 billion SR 520 bridge replacement and HOV program, which builds 12.8 miles of safety and mobility improvements from Interstate 5 in Seattle to State Route 202 in Redmond. The existing SR 520 floating bridge opened to traffic in 1963, and is vulnerable to sinking during a severe storm after weathering decades of wind and waves. The new bridge will better withstand storms and move more people across the lake with a new transit/HOV lane for buses and carpools in each direction. The target date to open the new bridge to traffic is December 2014.