As Interstate 405 express toll lanes get ready to open in early fall, the Washington State Department of Transportation is testing ways for motorcyclists to use a motorcycle pass without activating a pre-paid Good to Go! account.
WSDOT has heard concerns from motorcyclists who don’t want to open a pre-paid Good To Go! account simply to activate the pass needed to avoid paying a toll on the I-405 express lane tolls.
“Many motorcycle drivers already have a pass that is active on a Good To Go! account because they use one of our other toll facilities, but we’ve heard from other motorcycle owners who only drive I-405 and don’t cross the SR 520 or the Tacoma Narrows bridges,” said Toll Operations Director, Patty Rubstello. “So we’re testing a solution that would require a Good To Go! motorcycle pass be installed to drive toll-free on the I-405 express toll lanes, but doesn’t require an account.”
The Washington State Transportation Commission determined motorcycles are exempt from tolls on I-405 express toll lanes as long as they have a motorcycle pass. The pass notifies the toll system that the vehicle is exempt and prevents the motorcycle from receiving a toll bill. Motorcyclists are also exempt on State Route 167 HOT lanes but are not required to have a motorcycle pass to travel free there because that toll facility does not have photo tolling and the Pay By Mail payment option.
In April, WSDOT announced a program to provide free motorcycle passes to motorcycle drivers who plan to use the new I-405 express toll lanes. Over 2,200 motorcyclists have requested a free pass. The motorcycle passes, normally $8, have a clear backing and do not affect headlamp light or visibility. The first free motorcycle passes will begin arriving in mailboxes this week.
“We’ve seen a great response so far to the incentive and we’ve exceeded our initial goal of 2,000 passes. We will continue offering free passes while supplies last,” Rubstello said..
WSDOT is still encouraging motorcyclists to activate their motorcycle pass by adding it to a Good To Go! account. Drivers with an existing account, can add the pass at MyGoodToGo.com or by calling 1-866-936-8246. If the pass is active on a Good To Go! account, it can be used to pay a toll on the State Route 520 or the Tacoma Narrows bridges where motorcycles are required to pay tolls.
Motorcyclists interested in the option of using a pass without a Good to Go! account should email WSDOT at email@example.com and wait to activate their free motorcycle pass. WSDOT will notify motorcyclists prior to the express toll lanes opening this fall to confirm that this option is ready. Motorcyclists participating in this program would receive a bill in the mail when crossing the SR 520 or Tacoma Narrows bridges because their pass would not be tied to a Good To Go! account.
Visit GoodToGo405.org to learn more about I-405 express toll lanes and the requirements for the motorcycle incentive program. An animated video explains how to get ready for this fall and gives an example of what a trip may look like in the express toll lanes.
I-405 express toll lanes overview
WSDOT is building a new lane adjacent to the carpool lane between Northeast Sixth Street in Bellevue and State Route 522 in Bothell to create a dual, express-toll-lane system, while converting the existing carpool lane between Bothell and Lynnwood into a single, express toll lane. When the project is complete in early fall, drivers will have the option to pay a toll for a faster, more reliable trip using a 17-mile system of express toll lanes from Bellevue to Lynnwood. Tolls rates will adjust based on traffic congestion and can be paid with any existing Good To Go! pass or by mail at a higher rate.