CHOKEPOINTS

How Good To Go passes could be good for all tolls across the nation

Nov 10, 2015, 10:06 AM | Updated: 2:02 pm

The International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association is leading an effort to get all tolling ag...

The International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association is leading an effort to get all tolling agencies to adopt a single model by October 2016. That's going to have little benefit for Washington drivers. (WSDOT)

(WSDOT)

Drivers in the Puget Sound region should brace themselves for higher toll costs if a nationwide effort makes headway.

The International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association is leading an effort to get all tolling agencies to adopt a single model by October 2016. Once implemented, it would allow registered drivers to use all toll systems nationwide.

For Washington drivers, and specifically those in the Puget Sound, that could mean additional costs for tolls, Craig Stone, tolling director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, told KING 5. The cost to make the transition, which hasn’t been determined, would “likely call on toll payers,” KING 5 reported, citing Stone.

Related: WSDOT call center overwhelmed with questions about I-405 express lanes

The association’s Executive Director Patrick Jones says there are two tolling system models that would be selected as the standard technology: E-Z Pass and Good to Go. E-Z Pass is used by 14 states and 24 tolling agencies, according to the Turnpike Association. Good to Go may not have the same footprint, but it is more modern, KING 5 reports.

Stone says he feels Washington is in a good position for any kind of transition, he told KING 5. Agencies with the technology that is eventually selected would have a smoother and cheaper transition.

But would uniting Washington’s tolling system under one model be worth the cost and effort? Oregon, Idaho and Montana do not have any system in place. That means, unless those states add tolls, WSDOT would be catering to drivers that aren’t even in neighboring states. WSDOT says about 2-3 percent of transactions through the 520 Bridge tolls are from out of state, KING 5 reports.

Luckily for everyone involved, it doesn’t look like the Turnpike Association will meet its 2016 deadline.

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How Good To Go passes could be good for all tolls across the nation