More motorcycle transponder answers

The in basket: Lisa Havens of Poulsbo told me a while back that her motorcycling husband had devised a means of paying his Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll without having to have one of the special motorcycle transponders that some riders don’t like.
He paid $30 to have a piece of auto glass cut to the size of the smaller automobile transponder and stuck one to it. He carries it in his jacket and it seemed to be working, she said.
She also wondered whether a motorcycle with a transponder mounted that is being towed on a trailer behind a car with its own transponder would be regarded as separate vehicles by the electronic toll collection readers and get double-billed.


The in basket: Lisa Havens of Poulsbo told me a while back that her motorcycling husband had devised a means of paying his Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll without having to have one of the special motorcycle transponders that some riders don’t like.
He paid $30 to have a piece of auto glass cut to the size of the smaller automobile transponder and stuck one to it. He carries it in his jacket and it seemed to be working, she said.
She also wondered whether a motorcycle with a transponder mounted that is being towed on a trailer behind a car with its own transponder would be regarded as separate vehicles by the electronic toll collection readers and get double-billed.
The out basket: No surprisingly, Janet Matkin of the GoodtoGo! toll collection program didn’t endorse the piece of glass idea but said carrying a motorcycle transponder on one’s person could work.
“The system is not designed to read a windshield transponder that is mounted on a piece of windshield glass and carried in the pocket of a motorcyclist,” she said. “It sounds fairly dangerous to carry a piece of glass in your pocket and this is not something (we) would ever recommend.
“A better option is to obtain the motorcycle transponder that’s in a hard plastic case and sends out a much stronger signal than the windshield-mounted sticker. The motorcycle transponder is much more likely to be read when carried in someone’s pocket, saddlebag, or backpack,” she said.
As for a towed motorcycle behind a car with a transponder, she said the system will add 90 cents for each axle on the trailer to the basic $1.75 toll, and might charge another $1.75 for the motorcycle.
The per-axle add-on for trailers is intentional and was planned from the beginning. Each axle on a car was originally supposed to have the same toll as each axle on a trailer, but when $1.75 was set as the basic transponder toll for a car, the add-on was set at 90 cents per axle to avoid charging in half cents or uneven numbers. The per-axle charge is identical for cars and trailers at the toll booths, where the toll is $3.
Charging for a towed vehicle is not intentional and the scanners have the capacity to recognize the problem, she said.
“However, if both charges do appear on the account, the customer should simply contact the Good To Go! customer service center and explain the situation. The second toll will be deducted from their account.”

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