Tolling will begin on the SR 520 Bridge in Seattle this spring. “Our innovative approach to tolling will help manage congestion in this busy corridor and pay for the construction of a new safer replacement bridge” said WSDOT in a press release.
WSDOT is providing info on how this might affect your business even though some details like the exact cost of the tolls have not been finalized.
SR 520 will deploy all-electronic tolling without toll booths. It will use the Good To Go! electronic toll payment system – the same system already in place on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and SR 167 HOT lanes. One significant difference: there will be no cash-payment option. Eliminating toll booths reduces the potential for bottlenecks and allows drivers to maintain highway speeds.
All 520 bridge drivers will pay a toll. Those with pre-paid Good To Go! accounts will pay a lower toll rate. Good To Go! accounts will be available for sign-ups starting in January 2011.
WSDOT is sending out information now so companies can plan and budget accordingly. Although toll rates will not be finalized by the Washington State Transportation Commission until late 2010 businesses may find the following information to be helpful:
- Toll rates will vary by time of day. This means tolls will be highest during peak travel times with lower rates mid-day at night and on weekends.
- The Washington State Transportation Commission is exploring rates during peak hours of around $3.50 to $3.80 one-way for a two-axle vehicle with a Good To Go! account.
- Rates will be proportionately higher for vehicles with more than two axles.
- Tolls will be charged in both directions on the bridge.
- The Good To Go! pass and account will work on all Washington state toll facilities.
- Promotional incentives for opening a Good To Go! account will be available in January 2011 which may include special bulk purchase prices for passes. This is when you should plan to sign up your Good to Go! fleet or commercial account.
- Commercial accounts (for seven or more vehicles) will have a designated customer service representative and offer access to detailed account statements on tolls by date time and vehicle. One account can serve all vehicles in your fleet or you may choose to set up separate accounts for each department.
For more information and to sign up to receive news about the 520 Bridge tolls visit this website set up by WSDOT: www.goodtogo520.org.