WSDOT identifies SR 520 toll billing issue
January 30, 2012 · 10:22 AM
Attention users of SR 520. You may have been overcharged for tolls.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is investigating pass reader errors that may have caused incorrect charges on Good To Go! customer accounts. Toll system engineers installed a fix to the problem and toll equipment is still processing transactions and collecting tolls while engineers continue to investigate.
The issue does not affect drivers who are billed through Pay By Mail. The
According to Craig Stone, WSDOT toll division director, WSDOT monitors the percentage of vehicles crossing the 520 bridge and noticed "several dips in this percentage and started investigating to determine if it was caused by the freezing conditions, a toll equipment problem unrelated to snow or simply irregular traffic volumes associated with the weather.”
Toll system engineers found that the toll equipment’s internal clock was intermittently losing time and re-synching to the correct time. They updated the software on the SR 520 toll readers on Wednesday, Jan. 26, to fix the problem. However, they found that the timing issue started Tuesday, Jan. 17, and some drivers with Good To Go! passes may have been incorrectly charged.
“Some customers may see a series of accurate transactions followed by incorrect charges, such as an additional 25-cents Pay By Plate fee,” Stone said.
WSDOT will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the fix and will continue to identify customers who may have been incorrectly billed.
Stone said the state will not charge the Pay By Plate fee to SR 520 drivers during the week it had the billing issue. If a customer crossed the bridge between Tuesday, Jan. 17, and Wednesday, Jan. 25, the state either will credit back their account or not charge the 25-cent fee.
Drivers who crossed the SR 520 bridge between Jan. 17 and 25 should check their account and call the customer center if they have questions. WSDOT is working to correct the billing errors on the accounts and customers may notice a delay in billing as WSDOT performs quality checks.
“We understand that a mischarge is frustrating even if it’s 25 cents,” Stone said. “We held back the transactions as soon as we realized there was a serious problem and are working to fix the accounts that already were billed. We ask for customers’ patience as we correct the billing issues.”
The toll equipment that collects toll transaction information – including the pass readers, license plate cameras and equipment to count vehicle axles – is provided by Telvent. This billing issue was caused by a problem with the pass reader’s internal clock and is not related to the customer service center or back office system.