A system installed above the 520 bridge deck will scan Good to Go Passes and read license plates, deducting from prepaid accounts or sending bills to vehicle owners via mail. (Credit: WashDOT)

It is going to get a lot more costly to cross the 520 floating bridge next week — one of the main corridors that technology workers in the state travel each day. Electronic tolling will take effect on the bridge on December 29th, with rates varying depending upon the time of crossing and whether drivers have pre-purchased a Good to Go pass which affixes to the front window of a vehicle.

The Washington State Department of Transportation — which has been monitoring traffic flows across the bridge for the past several days — reports that just 20 percent of the 100,000 cars have the pass. Of those who have purchased one, 15 percent have not yet been activated with the minimum $30 balance.

Looks like some drivers will have a little sticker shock starting next week. For those who have a pass, tolls from Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. will be $3.50. Those without the pass — who will be charged by mail through a technology that identifies a vehicle’s license plate — will pay $5 during that time period. The same rates apply from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — one of the heaviest commute times on the bridge.

Since so many technology professionals live on one side of Lake Washington, and commute to the other, we’re curious whether you’ve purchased a Good to Go pass. Vote here:

Meanwhile, here’s a look at Glenn Farley’s report from KING 5.

Editor’s note: KING 5 and GeekWire are news partners. 

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  • http://twitter.com/andy_the_gruff Andy Allred

    I’ve been banging my head against the wall for 3 days with the Good to Go tech support because there’s a problem with their registration wizard to activate some online accounts. You see, getting your car registered requires you to create an online user account with them, depending on the type of account you create, it appears they have problem that prevents completion of the wizard.

    Their online support hasn’t been helpful in advancing the discussion of what’s wrong with their online wizard for Pay per Plate option. So this morning i went to the Bellevue Good to Go office on NE 20th and demonstrated for them that they have a problem, using one of their machines in the lobby to prove it’s not my fault. After witnessing the failure, the support person said they’d escalate with an internal support ticket, but i’m not holding my breath. Before i left i emphasized that I hope they recognize there *might* be a connection between low account registration and the fact that one type of registration service they offer is currently broken.

    Dealing with Good to Go has been an experience typical of dealing with bureaucracy, frustrating to say the least.

    I apologize if this has turned into a rant, i’ve simply been trying to raise awareness through different means and also e-mailed the director for this program, Craig Stone.

    • johnhcook

      Whoa, that’s interesting. I wonder if others have experienced problems signing up for the Good to Go passes. Keep me posted on this, as this might be worth a follow-up.

      • http://twitter.com/andy_the_gruff Andy Allred

        A tech from Good to Go called me back and we walked through the wizard interface a couple of times over the phone while they tried to narrow the problem down. We finally got the registration to work when i tried a shorter password. The passwords I was using when registration failed were 12 or more characters long, i got it to work when i reduced the PW length to 8 characters.

        After re-reading my original comment i would like to clarify that while the process was frustrating working with Good to Go, everyone i contacted through e-mail, twitter & phone had empathy and were helpful and/or courteous. My frustration was not with the people but the difficulty to make contact with someone that could talk intelligently to technical aspects of the registration process.

        Now my Pay by Plate is set up for my family’s vehicles and i’m looking forward to less traffic on the 520 floating bridge when the toll is enabled.

    • Tollmonster

      cluster! We can hope for two things: 1) postpone tolling yet again while they fix this bug or 2) anticipate that there will be public complaints immediately after this launches and disputes about being improperly tolled because people couldn’t sign up in time or error in reading plates, typical raft of bugs that will undoubtedly ensue

  • Ah

    Your poll should include the option:

    I want my employer to pay for my Good to Go or I’ll start looking for a job on my side of the lake.

  • http://www.intrinsicstrategy.com FrankCatalano

    Am looking forward to see if there will be any hiccups from people who believed the Bill Nye ads (sorry, Bill), purchased and registered their passes before the original deadline months ago, held onto the stickers and now will be putting them on cars which either they didn’t own when they originally purchased, or for which they have received new plates. 

    Wonder if that will cause any glitches in the billing, if they do a compare between pass number and plate number.

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