For the Reporter
New Interstate 405 express toll lanes open on Sunday, Sept. 27, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced today, leaving just over a month for drivers to get Good to Go!
“This is a major milestone for us, but also a major call to action for drivers, especially carpoolers, to get ready,” said Craig Stone, assistant secretary of transportation. “We know from experience that some drivers wait until the last minute to prepare, inundating the customer center, so take action now to avoid the lines.”
Express toll lanes will operate on a 17-mile stretch between Northeast Sixth Street in Bellevue and Interstate 5 in Lynnwood.
Drivers will have the option to pay a toll to travel at 45 mph or faster in the new lanes. Toll rates, set by the Washington State Transportation Commission, will adjust based on traffic in the system, and drivers can pay the toll with any existing Good To Go! pass or Pay By Mail for a higher rate.
Transit, vanpools, qualifying carpools and motorcycles will also benefit from a faster, more reliable trip toll-free with the correct Good To Go! pass.
WSDOT encourages commuters to decide which Good To Go! pass is best for them. Any existing Good To Go! pass will work to pay a toll in the express toll lanes, but only the Flex Pass will allow carpools to declare HOV status and ride toll-free.
How carpools can get ready:
• Carpools must have a Good To Go! Flex Pass set to HOV to ride toll-free in the express toll lanes. In addition, new carpool rules, set by the Washington State Transportation Commission, will require three or more people during weekday commute periods from 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. Two people qualify as a carpool all other times, including weekends.
• Anyone can buy a Flex Pass for $15 online, by phone, or at any Good To Go! customer service center.
• Drivers who carpool at least once a week on I-405 qualify for a free Flex Pass through WSDOT’s partnership with RideShareOnline.com and local partner networks.
• Drivers who receive a free pass must activate it through an existing Good To Go! account or a new account with a $30 pre-paid balance by visiting MyGoodToGo.com or by calling 1-866-936-8246.
“We’ve already distributed more than 50,000 Flex Passes – including11,000 free passes through RideshareOnline.com – and we expect the demand to increase now that we’re officially counting down,” Stone said. “If you want a free pass in the mail before launch, you must get your request in before the end of August.”