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520 Toll Vendor Settles with the State for $6.4 Million for Delayed Start of Tolls

State Route 520 Bridge toll vendor Electronic Transaction Consultants agreed to pay the state $6.4 million for issues with tolling on 520 and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The vendor noted that the settlement addresses its claims against the state as well.

Now we know how much the eight month delay in the tolling of the State Route 520 Bridge is going to cost the vendor Electronic Transaction Consultants -- the tolling contractor has settled with the state for $6.4 million.

“This settlement covers our costs due to the late start of tolling,” said Craig Stone, Toll Division director for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “This was a challenging and complex process that resulted in a fair outcome for everyone, including drivers, taxpayers and the state.”

According to the press release by the Washington State Department of Transportation, the settlement includes the cost of the delays, lost revenue, and extra WSDOT and consultant staffing. Electronic Transaction Consultants noted that the settlement also addresses ETC Corporation's claims against WSDOT for changes in scope and schedule delays.

"Throughout the project, ETC Corporation has worked as a true partner with WSDOT to deliver one of the industry’s most advanced toll systems, going above and beyond the scope of the contract to support WSDOT and its Good To Go! program," Tim Gallagher, ETC’s CEO, stated in a prepared statement.

"Now that we have reached this settlement, both ETC Corporation and WSDOT can focus on the future and continuing to provide superior systems and customer service to Good To Go!customers," he said.

In the past year, tolling was beseiged with issues on the 520 bridge and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The 520 Bridge tolls started . The toll originally . The state also lost revenue from the Tacoma Narrows toll because of many toll infractions , according to the state.

Motorists say that problems continue with the system. :

The tolling system has NOT gone smoothly......I have two vehicles...and use them both to cross the bridge. In June I got a bill in the mail from good-to-go for 245.00...all of it late fees. I was stunned, as I pay my bills literally the moment I open them. Then, to make matters worse, I got 2 bills on my other car..one for 268.10, the other for 268.00. I was beyond stunned...and even the people at the good to go office could not figure it all out. Somewhere somehow the state is messing up the system....this will come close to putting me under...... 

A Seattle Times reporter also got a toll bill for a car that she sold.

Electronic Transactions Consultant's original five-year contract with WSDOT was for $23 million, according to the state. 

$2.4 million of the settlement is a result of the reduction of monthly payments to the vendor, WSDOT reported. The state also paid reduced its payments to ETC in 2011, saving $1.5 million.

The state may also be able to operate the toll without the company in the future. WSDOT also receives a license for ETC’s software as part of the settlement, which would enable the state to operate the related software and background documents necessary to operate the statewide tolling customer service center and manage the toll-accounting system without paying royalties to the company. The state said an independent consultant valued the license at $4 million.

“Having a license to the toll-system software gives us flexibility in the years ahead,” Stone said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with ETC, but if we decide to change plans in the future, we have the freedom to use their software without them.”

*Editor's note: This story has been udpated from the original with information from ETC.

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