Toll-paying troubles illustrate changes at Narrows Bridge

The in basket: Lance Kanski had some trouble paying his toll to cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge this fall and sought help from Road Warrior readers on the Road Warrior blog at

“I received two infractions for the same reason,” he said, “one for my truck , one for my motorcycle. Both have transponders. I stopped at the toll booth with my motorcycle to make sure the transponder worked, and it did not. It was the first time I had tried to use that transponder.

“The booth dude told me. don’t worry, it will read your plate and debit your account. What is the outcome on the infractions? Do I have to pay the $52 fines? Anyone?”
The out basket: Janet Matkin, the voice of the Good to Go! toll office since its inception in 2006, fielded this question on her last day on the job before joining the state Association of Cities. She said, “If the license plate number is on the account, then the vehicle can be identified by the license plate and their Good To Go! account will be charged the toll. With the start of photo tolling on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on December 3, the vehicle would be charged the Pay By Plate rate, which is 25 cents more than the transponder rate ($3 for a two-axle vehicle).

However, if you have a transponder and it isn’t reading properly, you should stop by the customer service center and have it replaced,” she said. “Then you’ll be charged the $2.75 rate.

“Also, there are no more $52 fines,” Janet said,” if you bypass the toll booths. Instead, if you don’t have a Good To Go! account and don’t stop at the toll booths, the registered owner of the vehicle will be mailed a toll bill for $5.50.”

Annie Johnson of the Good to Go! office stepped in after Janet had left and I asked whether Lance would have to pay his two $52 fines from before the recent changes.


“Our records show that the (tickets)  were issued because neither license plate number was on the Good To Go!  account ,” Annie said, “and thus we couldn’t associate the license plate numbers with an account.

“Mr. Kanski should receive dismissal letters in the mail once the tickets are dismissed (meaning he won’t have to pay the two $52 fines). The Good To Go! toll rate of $2.75 was posted to his account for each of the two toll transactions.”


“(This) case is a good reminder to folks to keep their account information (including license plates) up to date,” Annie said. “If the license plates had been listed on his account, we could have matched it up that way and he wouldn’t have received any (infractions).

“As Janet noted, as of December 3 we no longer issue (notices of infraction). If this situation were to occur now, we would issue a photo tolling bill instead of the fine.”


2 thoughts on “Toll-paying troubles illustrate changes at Narrows Bridge

  1. I don’t use the Good to Go! or cash. But I DO have to be able to correctly answer the questions three – my name; my favorite color; and my quest (I seek the Grail). So far, I have not gotten to the other side of the bridge. (and it is a LONG way to the water!).

  2. I was crossing the bridge the other evening and just as I was about to go through the lighted area the car infornt of me tapped their brakes and swerved into the right side of the road against the barrier… not hitting the barrier or anything and kept driving. My assumption is they were avoiding (not sure if possible) the camera so they did not have to pay the toll at all. If that is able to happen they i think there needs to be a fix.

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