Tag Archives: transponders

You can move your toll passes between vehicles now

The in basket: When notice of my Good tot Go! statement for December turned up in my e-mail, I looked it over and saw that my only trip across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that month had been properly included. I was puzzled, though, that the car was identified only by the sticker number on my windshield-mounted Good to Go! Pass. There was no indication of the license number.

I knew what car I had been in, but for someone whose family makes a lot of trips across the state’s tolled bridges or uses the HOV lanes on Highway 167, it would be kind of arduous to track which car was used each time.

It seemed like the monthly statement used to include the license number for each billed crossing.

The out basket: I was reluctant to ask about it, since it wasn’t a big issue, but I’m glad I did. It turns out I was way behind in understanding all the latest wrinkles in the passes (I know them as transponders, but the state doesn’t seem to call them that anymore) that bill us electronically for use of toll facilities.

Emily Pace of the state’s Good to Go! office says, “Good To Go! no longer associates each pass with a specific vehicle now that we offer passes which can be moved between vehicles. This change was made when we opened the statewide customer service center on February 14, 2011. Prior to February 2011, we offered two pass types (a sticker pass and a license plate mounted pass) which couldn’t be moved between vehicles, therefore each pass was associated with a specific vehicle and license plate.

“We now offer five pass types, two of which are easily movable between vehicles. Our new pass options are the result of advances in tolling technology and listening to our customers, many of whom wanted more pass options.

“Customers may have multiple vehicles including some they don’t use very often; for example, a motor home. With a movable pass they only need to purchase one pass and then they can move the pass between any vehicle registered on their account.” The moveable passes attach with velcro.

“Our new passes allow us to offer more options to drivers and provide them at lower cost. The older version of the sticker pass was $12 and the license plate mounted pass was $30. Today our pass options range from $5 to $12.

“Currently, if you have a pass installed in your vehicle, when you view your account history and account statements you’ll see toll activity shown by pass number, not by vehicle or license plate number. If you don’t have a pass installed in your vehicle, but your license plate is registered on an account, your license plate number will post to the account instead of the pass number – or Pay By Plate. “Customers will see an extra 25 cents photo enforced fee per toll for each Pay By Plate transaction.

“We suggest that customers with multiple vehicles on their account take note of which pass is installed on each specific vehicle if they need this information for their own tracking purposes. Your pass number is located on the front of both the sticker and movable passes and on the back of the switchable pass.

“Just a heads up, the last digit of your pass will not appear on your account view. No need to worry, the pass is entered correctly, the system just does not read the last digit of the pass,” she said.

All the pass options can be seen online

at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/GoodToGo/PassesAvailable2011.htm. There is

even a guide (the link is at the top of the page) to help you decide which pass is best for you.

Ferries could make use of transponders, reader says

The in basket: Frank Reed read the May 30 Road Warrior about interest accrued on Good to Go! accounts , from which bridge and highways tolls can be paid, and wondered why ferry fares can’t be paid the same way.
“The Washington State ferry system engages in a huge rip-off of its customers and seems to pat itself on the back for doing so,” he wrote. “The crossing tolls, pre-purchased on-line or at toll booths, are not really accounts set up in the customer’s name with a dollar value in them, as are Good to Go accounts, but only slightly different version of the previous system of buying paper tickets. In addition the tickets have fast expiration times and are not user friendly.
“Actual monetary amounts in actual accounts can draw interest (as you pointed out) that can be used by the ferry system, don’t care if toll values vary for seasonal or other reasons and don’t penalize the customer with an expiration date.
My question is why is the ferry system is so intent on using its own pre-paid tolling system which doesn’t work (software problems) and not the Good to Go! system, which according to your article can relatively easily credit the correct facility being used. This would certainly help the bean counters with realistic ferry route usage data.
“Why not use just one tolling system?”

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