About 10 percent of credit-card transactions are failing in the state Good to Go toll system this week, the WSDOT said Friday.
About 10 percent of credit-card transactions involving state highway tolls have been failing this week, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said Friday afternoon.
As a result, some motorists are receiving bills when their account balances in the Good to Go program fall below zero, through no fault of their own.
These intermittent glitches are disrupting the “automatic-replenishment” system, which charges a motorist’s credit card to refill a WSDOT toll account.
It’s unclear how many vehicles are affected, but it is a fraction of the 611,000 toll accounts statewide.
Most Read Local Stories
- 'Wretched human being' for president: How the Spokane paper's bizarre plug for Trump revealed a hard truth
- Encampments, conditions at Seattle parks draw scrutiny as coronavirus pandemic drags on
- Coronavirus daily news updates, October 27: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world VIEW
- Did your ballot reach its destination? Here's how to track it in Washington state
- Coronavirus daily news updates, October 28: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world VIEW
Texas-based Electronic Transaction Consultants (ETC) processes the bills for state toll facilities — the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Highway 167 high occupancy or toll (HOT) lanes in Kent, the Highway 520 floating bridge, and the new Interstate 405 Express Toll Lanes.
Bob Trimble, an occasional 520 bridge user from Yarrow Point, received notice Tuesday that his balance was negative $1.21.
Good to Go was supposed to charge his credit card $30 if the toll-account balance dipped below $8, the common default setting.
He received an email warning: “Any negative balance and outstanding tolls and fees must be paid in full immediately or may be subject to collection procedures and legal action by the State of Washington.”
Trimble called the tolling hotline, 866-936-8246, but opted to use firstname.lastname@example.org, rather than wait on hold, which averages 25 minutes. He managed to restock his account with $60 late Wednesday night.
Ethan Bergerson, tolling spokesman, said Friday that customers might want to wait a few days, then try to pay online at GoodtoGo.org, when ETC and WSDOT solve the problem.
The state promises to waive any surcharges for drivers who use windshield-mounted Good to Go passes but wind up paying as much as people without a pass. These surcharges are $2 per trip in the I-405 lanes, and usually $1.60 on Highway 520.
This is an inopportune time for snafus.
During extreme congestion this week, new I-405 toll lanes have filled as drivers seek to escape crowded general lanes — causing tolls to reach $8 to $10. New chokepoints have emerged at Bothell, where twin toll lanes narrow to one each direction.
More than 20,000 people have endorsed an online Stop405Tolls.org petition. The state reported that even at $10, tollpayers saved 16 to 24 minutes.