[Editor: This is the text of a February 8, 2017, news release from WSDOT.]
Good To Go! Customer Numbers Grow as More Washingtonians Choose Toll Roads
SEATTLE – The Washington State Department of Transportation Toll Division has released its Annual Report (pdf 6.4 mb) for fiscal year 2016, covering transactions, revenue and development of all tolling facilities. The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 each year.
During fiscal year 2016, Good To Go! served more than 673,000 customer accounts and processed approximately 46.6 million toll transactions, a 24 percent increase from the previous year. The I-405 express toll lanes, which were operational for nine-months of the fiscal year covered in this report, accounted for much the growth in transactions.
Toll revenue helps pay for corridor improvements and improve mobility
As directed by the Legislature, Washington has used tolling since 2007 as tool to help generate revenue required for construction, ongoing preservation of existing facilities and to help manage congestion.
Tolling revenues stay in the corridor in which they were collected. After operating costs, approximately 80 percent of tolling revenues collected on the SR 520 Bridge and 86 percent of Tacoma Narrows Bridge revenues were used to repay the debt on existing bonds from construction of the bridges. Toll revenue from the I-405 express toll lanes is already being reinvested in the corridor, funding construction of a peak-use shoulder lane to help provide more capacity for drivers during heavy commute times.
The I-405 express toll lanes and State Route 167 HOT lanes are providing travelers with a choice – carpools and transit riders have a more reliable trip and drivers have the option to use the lanes when they need them.
Striving for high-quality customer service
The Good To Go! tolling system grew rapidly in fiscal year 2016, serving 673,000 customer accounts. Of these, 133,000 were new Good To Go! accounts. 78 percent of all toll payments were made through Good To Go! accounts and 256,000 new passes were purchased.
In order to better serve customers, Good To Go! made a number improvements to its customer service including adding capacity at the call center to reduce call wait times. Work is also underway to introduce a more user friendly Good To Go! website later this year.
WSDOT continues to see positive results from its Customer Program for Resolution, launched in July 2015, which makes it easier to resolve a toll bill disputes and offers first-time forgiveness of late fees and penalties. Thousands of customers have asked for and received forgiveness. Collection of unpaid bills has doubled and administrative hearings are down 86 percent.
More details about toll facilities performance is available online.
Meredith McNamee, communications