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What?! Driver told he owes $4,000 in SR 520 Bridge tolls

SEATTLE — The State Route 520 Bridge is part of David Applebaum’s daily commute from Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood to his job in Kirkland.

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David Applebaum of Seattle was told he owes more than $4,000 in SR 520 Bridge tolls.

“I got a ‘Good To Go’ pass right before I started (the job) in October,” he said Tuesday. “I’ve been driving over the bridge for the past eight months now.”

He didn’t think much about how much the toll was costing him each day, until he got a bill in the mail.

“The bill said I owed over $1,800. Then when I called ‘Good To Go,’ they said it was actually over $4,000.”

Most commuters pay between $2 and $5 to cross the bridge, but Applebaum was getting charged extra because the Washington State Department of Transportation said his account had incurred a civil penalty.

“You get a first toll bill, a second toll bill, and then, after that, a civil penalty,” said Craig Stone, assistant secretary of WSDOT’s Toll Division.

Applebaum said he never got those first notices. Now he`s wondering if there might be a problem with the Good To Go system.  Right after he talked to a colleague about his bill, she got one for nearly $700.

“I had never received a bill (from WSDOT) before and this was allegedly going on since November,” Mandy Emel said.

Stone said he couldn’t discuss individual accounts, but noted the bridge toll system has only been in effect for 18 months.

“You’re always going to have continuous improvement,” Stone said.  “You’re working with a software program; you’re looking at changes to that, improvement.”

He said problems have arisen when customers move or change their credit cards.  That’s why they urge anyone with questions to contact them.

“There are some that we do have to work with, and every situation is unique,” he said. “That’s why we have a customer service center, that’s why we work with individuals on this.”

Applebaum has been given a date for a hearing, and he’s hoping his case will be worked out when he appears later this summer.

WSDOT officials say you can always check the status of your account by looking at the Good To Go website. They say that’s especially important when you move or change vehicles.

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14 comments

  • sheltiebrat

    They have a customer service, but whether or not you get service is another thing. I will have to ask a friend of mine if he ever got his account straightened out, but they told him he a third car on his account that he had never heard of,

    They were in a "Too bad so sad" mind set, nothing he could do about it. I will check tomorrow to see if he over got it resolved.

  • KKVW

    I especially love that they charge 1000% fine for forgetting to pay. I rarely use the bridge. I used it once when I had to get to my dr, in a hurry because of bad traffic. I had surgery shortly after and totally forgot about it. BAM! $50 fine for the $5.13 toll. Great. I also found out that I am getting laid off in 2 months. Just.Friggin.Wonderful. Of course I have an extra $50 laying around the house. NOT.

  • Joe Camel

    This toll is another revenue loser the state cause of alternate routes. So they stick it to anyone they can with their excessive fees, if a business did this the state would sue them.

    I paid the fee the one time I crossed, sent a check, will hmm guess what it didn't get deposited till after it was due and a subsequent late fee of $5 was charged to me for a $4.20 toll. I told them I am not responsible them not processing my payment in a timely fashion. I didn't pay the fine now six months later I have been charged a civil fee, if I don't pay it they can put a lean on my property.
    So now I am contesting their notice of civil penalty. Even the notice has two difference balance dues and is evidence itself of their accounting and processing failures.

  • Michelle

    I am waiting for my court date for the same thing. I did however get the bills and went in to try and pay three separate times. The system I guess kept trying to charge a wrong credit card and I was not getting emails when there was an issue. So six months later I get a big envelope with $1200.00 worth of civil penalties. They also wound up with the wrong plate number on one of our cars so another $800.00 were applied to the correct plates registered to me. I certainly hope the judge understands a family of five can barely afford regular tolls much less an extra $2000.00.

  • Cindy

    Customer service? LOL that is a joke. Had a couple of cars with toll fees. I paid multiple notices with 1 check, with notice numbers on the check. Mailed. They cashed it, but posted the fees incorrectly , as in, too much on one and not enough on the others. Civil penalty came. I called, sent in the copies of all proof and sent to them choosing not to take time off work to request a hearing because it was proven paid and on time. Ha ha. Guess what? They say too bad, and you waive your right to appeal if you choose this route. I warn everyone I know to keep all of their payment records. What a mess ans a waste of people’s time.

  • Ron

    i called the Good to go people and asked how much does the actual "TOLL" does Washington State Get to keep, (Since the system running it is in Arizona) and their only reply was they pay 80 Percent in over head,, So to me that means out of every dollar charged Washington state gets 20 cents. WOW good business eh a 5.00 toll WA state gets 1 USD not even enough to scrape gum off a sidewalk .

  • Lordbinder

    And Portland folks wonder why us folks in Vancouver do not want a toll on the I-5 bridge. Just take a look above and see our future if we do not fight this.

    • Joe Camel

      Seriously Justme,

      Can't you read people have paid and the system is not recording payments and charging fees and penalties… its a SCAM Justme and you're probably benefiting cause your employed by them, aren't you….. "pay the toll each time" obviously your not one to do comprehensive reading.

  • Thomas

    I have never driven across the 520 bridge yet today I received a second bill from Good2Go. I am being billed for a total of five crossings which never took place. In fact I live in Bellingham and I can say with complete certainty that my car never left Whatcom county on the dates in question. So far I have emailed Good2Go contesting the charges though I have not heard back. The total they have billed me for now is 28 dollars in fraudulent charges.
    Has this happened to anyone else? I am curious because I had never even heard of good2go and knew nothing of the 520 toll bridge until I started getting bills in the mail.

  • Sue

    Horrible, horrible, horrible system. I've paid out over a grand crossing the Narrows bridge to get to work — I lost and blocked my debit card and forgot to tell Good2Go –so for that month, around 20 crossings, I am now being charged 1500.00+
    Never received a single notice, found out when I talked to a rep. about a different matter.


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