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520 Tolling Equipment Causes Overcharges to Some Motorists

The state announced they will waive the Pay-by-Plate fee -- 25 cents -- for drivers who were charged the week of Jan. 17 - 25.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reported that errors on the tolling equipment on State Route 520 may have caused some motorists with Good to Go passes to be overcharged.

Engineers continue to investigate the issue, while the bridge's toll is being collected, the state reported in a press release.

According to the press release, toll system engineers installed a fix and the issue does not affect drivers who were billed through Pay By Mail. 

Toll system engineers found that the toll equipment’s internal clock was intermittently losing time and re-synching to the correct time, according to the state. Some drivers with Good To Go! passes may have been incorrectly charged, the state reported.

“Some customers may see a series of accurate transactions followed by incorrect charges, such as an additional 25-cents Pay By Plate fee,” said WSDOT toll division director Craig Stone in a prepared statement.

“Our next step is to ensure customers will not be charged incorrectly and make necessary adjustments to their accounts,” Stone said. “We will not charge the Pay By Plate fee to SR 520 drivers during the week we had this billing issue. If a customer crossed the bridge between Tuesday, Jan. 17, and Wednesday, Jan. 25, we’ll either credit back their account or not charge the 25-cent fee.”

“We understand that a mischarge is frustrating even if it’s 25 cents,” said Stone. “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.

“We are working closely with WSDOT to fix the problem and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the correction in place continues to work,” said Telvent Technology Director Darby Swank. “Telvent will work with WSDOT to determine any reimbursements.”

The bridge has a variable toll, which is $3.50 at during peak rush hour times. The toll was activated .

-- Information from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

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