Tolled HOV lanes on Highway 167, and transponders

The in basket: Bob Allen of Grapeview and Nelson Lanchester of South Kitsap both wonder how people like themselves with toll-paying transponders on their windshields can use the new HOT lanes about to debut on Highway 167 between Renton and Auburn.


The in basket: Bob Allen of Grapeview and Nelson Lanchester of South Kitsap both wonder how people like themselves with toll-paying transponders on their windshields can use the new HOT lanes about to debut on Highway 167 between Renton and Auburn.
Single occupancy vehicles will be allowed to use the carpool lanes there by paying a toll that will vary and could go up to $9 during times of heavy congestion in the other lanes. Transponders that pay your toll on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge will pay your toll in the HOT lanes, too.
Bob asked, “If you have a Good to Go! sticker, and you choose to travel on any of the future toll sections of HOV lanes, carrying the required number of persons in your vehicle to use those lanes normally, are you automatically charged anyway through your transponder?”
“How will they know that I am an HOV vehicle and not
 charge me for using the HOV lane?” echoed Nelson
The out basket: You’ll be able to buy a shield that will cover your transponder and keep the toll from being charged when you qualify to be in the HOT lane.
A lot of answers are on the HOT lanes Web site at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR167/HOTLanes/. I had some questions not answered there, and Jessica Yasenchak of the Good to Go! toll office provided the answers.
The shield works even though it won’t be between the transponder and the overhead reader because “this shield is
metallic and is designed to touch the conductive material on the transponder, therefore obstructing the transponder signal,” she said.
Like the toll amounts to use the HOT lanes, the cost of the shield hasn’t been set, but is expected to be $3.50, she said. They will be available through the Good to Go! office, but not until the opening date of the HOT lanes is announced. That won’t be before Feb. 19.

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