The Washington State Department of Transportation this week launched a campaign to educate the public about all-electronic tolling on SR 520, which will begin in Spring 2011.
WSDOT was tasked by the Legislature to educate the public on how electronic tolling will work and the easiest way for bridge users to make toll payments. The public education campaign is funded from a federal Urban Partnership grant focused on addressing congestion in the SR 520 corridor.
"Our goal is to make sure every driver who uses the 520 Bridge understands how electronic tolling works. We are using a variety of education and outreach tools to try and educate more than one million people," said WSDOT Toll Division Director Craig Stone. "We want the introduction of all-electronic tolling to be simple to understand and hassle-free for the SR 520 traveler."
The public education campaign uses a variety of tools to inform and educate the public, including community outreach; radio, newspaper and billboard advertising; and new web site content. Over the next year, WSDOT speakers will brief community and business groups throughout the region on the program. SR 520 drivers are encouraged to sign up for an interest list to stay up-to-date on 520 tolling developments. Interest list subscribers will receive regular announcements about rates, account options, special offers and customer service resources and will be able to sign up for an account early next year.
In Spring 2011, SR 520 will become the first bridge in Washington to use all-electronic tolling, reducing potential bottlenecks and allowing drivers to maintain highway speeds by eliminating traditional toll booths. It will use Good To Go!, WSDOT's statewide electronic toll payment system already in place on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and SR 167 HOT lanes.
The 520 Bridge is a vital east-west corridor for approximately 115,000 commuter, business, transit and recreational vehicles each day. Tolling on SR 520 will help pay for the new SR 520 bridge scheduled to open in 2014. Tolling the current SR 520 bridge provides the necessary funding to begin construction and lowers the cost of financing. When complete, the new bridge will include four general purpose lanes and two lanes dedicated to transit and carpools.
To sign-up for the interest list and learn more about Good To Go! please visit www.GoodToGo520.org.