Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-10-070.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 468-300-800 through 468-300-890, rules regulating bridge and highway toll collections in Washington state.
Hearing Location(s): Pierce County Transit, Rainer Room, 3720 96th Street S.W., Lakewood, WA 98499, on February 9, 2007, at 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: February 9, 2007.
Submit Written Comments to: R. David Pope, Tolls Systems Manager, 3214 50th Street Court N.W., Suite 302, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-8583, e-mail Poped@wsdot.wa.gov, fax (253) 534-4679, by February 9, 2007.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennice Kelly, TTY (800) 833-6388, ask to be connected to (360) 705-7097 or (253) 534-4671.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: In order to effectively implement the tolling statutes contained in chapters 47.46, 47.56, and 47.63 RCW, the Washington state department of transportation (department or WSDOT) is proposing administrative rules that:
(1) Support a uniform but flexible toll collection system for the department's toll transportation projects;
(2) Regulate toll collections within the state's uniform toll collection system;
(3) To the extent that technology and resources permit, establish an open standard electronic toll collection system using automatic vehicle identification technology (AVI) that is compatible with:
|•||Washington state ferry fare collection:|
|•||WSDOT commercial vehicle information systems and networks (CVISN) program;|
|•||Other public transportation systems using various electronic payment methods; or|
|•||Other toll collection systems using AVI technology; and|
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The department's proposed toll rules will establish:
(1) An open standard for the transponders used in the AVI technology systems that are part of the department's toll projects. An open standard will allow compatibility and interoperability between agencies and transportation systems using AVI technology or some other electronic toll payment/collection device. Such an electronic toll system will increase access and ease of use for consumers of public transportation services, including ferries, bus, rail, freight and tolled public roads and bridges, by using a payment device recognized and accepted throughout the state. Finally, an electronic toll system that allows electronic payment devices to be provided by multiple vendors will help create a competitive environment, reduce costs to the users of those devices and allow the department to take advantage of advances in technology as they occur.
(2) A set of regulations governing toll collections on current (Tacoma Narrows Bridge and HOT lanes) and future department tolling projects.
(3) Are written in a clear and readable style that allows users to more easily understand and apply the department's tolling regulations; and
(4) Use tables to clearly and succinctly present information wherever possible and appropriate.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 47.46.105 Toll collections, 46.63.160 Electronic toll collection, photo enforcement and 47.56.403 High-occupancy toll lane project HOT lanes.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 47.46.105 Toll collections, 46.63.160 Electronic toll collection, photo enforcement and 47.56.403 High-occupancy toll lane project HOT lanes.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Washington state department of transportation, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Lucinda Broussard, 3214 50th Street Court N.W., Suite 302, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-8583, (253) 534-4699; Implementation and Enforcement: R. David Pope, 3214 50th Street Court N.W., Suite 302, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-8583, (253) 534-4673.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The department has considered this rule and determined that it does not affect more than 10% or 20% of all industry.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington state department of transportation is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).
January 3, 2007
P. J. Hammond
for John F. Conrad
Assistant Secretary for
Engineering and Regional Operations
BRIDGE AND HIGHWAY TOLL COLLECTIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE
WAC 468-300-801 What is the purpose of these rules? The purpose of these rules is to explain how the Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT) will operate its tolling programs including electronic toll collection and enforcement and specifically to:
(1) Establish a uniform toll collection system for transportation facilities in Washington state;
(2) Regulate toll collections within the state's uniform toll collection system; and
(3) To the extent that technology and resources permit, establish an open standard electronic toll collection system using automatic vehicle identification technology (AVI) that is compatible with other toll systems throughout the state and country.
(1) ALL TOLL LANES: All nonrevenue account vehicles and emergency vehicles when on a bona fide emergency run (lights flashing, siren activated) are exempt from paying tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll facility; and
(2) HOT LANES ONLY: Transit buses and vanpool vehicles owned and operated by any public agency and other high occupancy vehicles are exempt from paying toll charges on the SR 167 high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes pilot project.
"Active account" means an open customer account with any balance from which electronic toll payments may be automatically deducted by an electronic toll collection (ETC) system.
"Automatic vehicle identification (AVI) technology" means an electronic toll collection (ETC) system using wireless radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders with readers that automatically identify vehicles as they enter and exit a tolling facility. WSDOT uses a toll collection system based upon AVI technology named "Good To Go!™."
"Closed account" means a customer account that has been closed.
"Closed pending account" means a customer account, which is in the process of being closed at the request of the customer. Closed pending status can be maintained for no more than fifteen days; after fifteen days the customer's account is closed.
"Commission" means the transportation commission appointed by the governor. The commission is responsible for setting toll rates and schedules.
"Customer account" is a prepaid toll account used for electronic toll collection in which customers deposit funds to pay their tolls electronically and automatically.
"Department" means the Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT).
"Dishonored check" means any check returned to WSDOT by a financial institution for any reason of nonacceptance, nonpayment or stop payment unless a justifiable stop payment order exists.
"Dishonored credit card transaction" means a credit card transaction that is not approved by the entity that issued the credit card.
"Dynamic toll pricing" means varying the toll rate charged to toll customers to maintain specific performance standards of traffic management.
"Electronic toll collection (ETC) lane" means a lane in which the electronic toll collection system will read the transponder of each vehicle and automatically collect the toll without requiring the vehicle to slow its speed or stop.
"Good To Go!™" is the name of the department's electronic toll collection system.
""Good To Go!™" contract" means the terms and conditions noted on the back of the "Good To Go!™" customer application and to which the customer agrees by opening a customer account.
""Good To Go!™" customer" means a toll customer who participates in the department's "Good To Go!™" toll collection system.
"High occupancy vehicle" means a public agency bus or vanpool or a carpool vehicle with minimum occupancy requirements that may vary from two to four persons depending upon the posted roadway HOV signage.
"High-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes" means one or more lanes of a highway that charges tolls as a means of regulating access to or the use of the lanes in order to maintain travel speed and reliability. HOT lane supporting facilities include, but are not limited to, approaches, enforcement areas, improvements, buildings, and equipment.
"Inactive account" means a customer account that has had no toll transaction activity during the twenty-four-month period, which begins with the date of the customer's last transaction.
"Insufficient funds account" means an ETC customer's account with a balance less than the single toll rate in effect for the highest class of vehicle registered under the account at the time the customer's electronic toll transaction is processed.
"Insufficient funds account -- Private unregistered accounts" means an ETC customer's private unregistered account with a balance less than the single toll rate in effect for Class 2 vehicles at the time the electronic toll transaction is processed.
"Independent toll collection company" means a vendor who contracts with WSDOT to collect and process tolls and detect and process toll violations.
"Low balance account" means a customer account with a balance equal to two times the toll rate normally paid by the customer or less.
"Manual payment toll customer" means a toll customer who manually pays their toll at a tollbooth.
"Nonrevenue account" means an account approved by WSDOT that exempts those account vehicles from paying a toll.
"Notice of nonsufficient funds (NSF)" means the notice sent to a toll customer who presented a nonsufficient funds check to WSDOT in payment of any toll transaction. This notice will be mailed to the toll customer at the address noted on the check returned from the financial institution.
"Notice of dishonored credit card transaction" means a transaction authorized by a toll customer that is not honored by the financial institution for any reason except for the existence of a stop payment order.
"Person" means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association.
"Photo monitoring system" means a system where a sensor, working in conjunction with an electronic toll collection system, is installed in the toll lanes to produce an automatic image of the vehicle as it passes through the toll facility. The photo monitoring system may produce:
(1) One or more photographs;
(2) One or more microphotographs;
(3) A videotape; or
(4) Any other recorded images that capture each vehicle that passes through the toll facility.
"Pilot project" means a Washington state department of transportation project that serves as a tentative model for future department transportation projects.
"Prepaid account" means an open "Good To Go!™" customer account with a balance in excess of any minimum balance requirements.
"Promotional tolls" means special toll rates that are approved by the toll setting authority and are established for a specified time period and purpose. The purpose of promotional tolls is to increase public participation in WSDOT "Good To Go!™" toll collection programs.
"Registration hold" means the department of licensing may withhold a vehicle registration or renewal until the vehicle owner's unpaid toll(s) are paid or resolved.
"Shoulder hours" means the hours bracketing the weekday morning and afternoon peak commute hours.
"Toll collection system" means any system that identifies a correct toll and collects its payment. A toll collection system may include manual cash collection, electronic toll collection, and a photo monitoring video tolling (V-Toll) system.
"Toll customer" means someone who passes through a toll facility and is required to pay a toll electronically, manually or according to a video toll (V-Toll) system.
"Toll transportation facility" means a facility whose purpose is to collect and process WSDOT tolls and detect and process toll violations. A toll facility includes all traffic, bridge lanes requiring tolls and any related tollbooths and operation buildings.
"Transportation systems and facilities" means any capital-related investments and additions to the state's transportation infrastructure, including but not limited to highways, roads, bridges, vehicles, and equipment, marine-related facilities, vehicles, and equipment, park and ride lots, transit stations and equipment, transportation management systems, and other transportation-related investments.
"Toll violation" means a failure by a toll customer to pay a required toll.
"Transponder" means a radio frequency identification (RFID) unit attached to a toll customer's vehicle that transmits a radio signal to a reader mounted in the toll facility. The purpose of the transponder is to automatically identify the toll customer's vehicle as it passes through the toll facility.
"Variable pricing" means varying the toll rate by time of day or level of traffic congestion.
"Video-toll" or "V-Toll" means an alternative method of paying a toll. If a toll facility user does not pay the toll, a photo-monitoring system captures the vehicle's license plate and issues a V-Toll bill to the vehicle's registered owner. The amount charged in the V-Toll bill will equal the manual toll due plus an administrative fee.
(1) HOT LANES ONLY: All vehicles that are required to pay a toll must have an active "Good To Go!™" transponder and account to enable you to pay by electronic toll collection (ETC) via the transponder mounted on your windshield.
(2) OTHER TOLL FACILITIES: When you use the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or other WSDOT toll facilities you have three payment options:
(a) ETC payment: This electronic toll payment option uses your "Good To Go!™" account in the ETC lanes. This allows you to drive through the toll facility, using the ETC lanes, at regular traffic speed;
(b) Manual payment: This payment option requires that you manually pay your toll using cash or a credit or labeled debit card in the manual payment lanes at a tollbooth facility. This option also requires you to stop your vehicle at the tollbooth facility (only on TNB);
(c) V-Toll payment (available only at Tacoma Narrows Bridge facility): A V-Toll payment is required when you receive a V-Toll bill. A V-Toll billing will automatically occur when you do not pay the toll, whether using electronic or manual lanes.
(2) All toll related revenues collected by any independent toll collection company through WSDOT are payable to the state of Washington.
(3) Although the WSDOT may contract with independent toll collection companies to manage the day-to-day toll collection activities at its toll projects, WSDOT retains ultimate oversight authority for all toll collection operations at those facilities.
(2) The purpose of such an electronic toll collection system is to help manage highway and/or bridge traffic through a toll facility.
|Note:||To maximize the effectiveness of electronic toll collection technology, WSDOT encourages anyone who regularly travels through a WSDOT toll facility to sign up and participate in the department's "Good To Go!™" system.|
(2) To the extent that technology and resources permit, WSDOT's electronic toll collection system will use AVI devices that are:
(a) Compatible with:
(i) Other electronic payment devices; or
(ii) Transponders from the Washington state ferry system, other public transportation systems or other toll collection systems; and
(b) Provided by multiple vendors.
(3) WSDOT is committed to ensuring that its electronic toll collection system is customer friendly, cost-effective and compatible (interoperable) with electronic payment devices and/or methods used by other transportation systems. Therefore, using criteria like the following, WSDOT will regularly review its tolling technology and may change its toll collection methods to ensure customer convenience and toll collection efficiency at a reasonable cost:
(a) Open road (nonstop) electronic toll collection capability;
(b) Cost of transponders to customers;
(c) Ability to meet department operational and accuracy standards; and
(d) Compatibility with other electronic toll collection technologies that are in use or are emerging.
A CVISN participant must open an active "Good To Go!™" account to use this service.
(2) At a minimum, the pilot project must comply with the following requirements:
(a) The commission:
• Will establish the schedule of toll charges for high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes and determine the manner in which the charges are collected.
• Will not assess HOT lane toll charges on transit buses and vanpool vehicles owned or operated by any public agency.
• May use dynamic pricing to vary HOT lane toll charges by time of day, level of traffic congestion within the highway facility, vehicle occupancy, or other criteria that the commission deems appropriate.
• May vary HOT lane toll charges for single-occupant inherently low-emission vehicles, such as those powered by electric batteries, natural gas, propane, or other clean burning fuels.
• Will periodically review HOT lane toll charges to determine if they are effectively maintaining travel time, speed, and reliability on the highway facilities.
• Will remove the HOT lane toll charges four years after toll collection begins, unless reauthorized by the Washington state legislature.
(b) The department:
• Will, if necessary, automatically adjust HOT lane toll charges, using dynamic tolling, to limit toll-paying single-occupant vehicle users access to the HOT lanes in order to maintain average HOT lane vehicle speeds above forty-five miles per hour, at least ninety percent of the time during peak hours.
• Will monitor the pilot project and annually report to the commission and the legislature on operations and findings.
• Will modify the pilot project, if necessary, to address identified safety issues and mitigate negative impacts to high-occupancy vehicle lane users.
• Will adopt rules allowing the automatic vehicle identification transponders used for electronic toll collection on the pilot project to be compatible with other electronic payment devices or transponders from the Washington state ferry system, other public transportation systems, or other toll collection systems to the extent that technology and resources permit.
(3) A violation of the pilot project's high-occupancy toll lane restrictions is a traffic infraction.
|Note:||The "Good To Go!™" customer contract contains a full explanation of the terms and conditions associated with the WSDOT "Good To Go!™" toll collection program.|
|Type of Account:||Description:|
|(1) Private registered||A prepaid "Good To Go!™" account that:|
|•||Is for a private party (not a business entity);|
|•||Includes customer-identifying information.|
|•||May be charged for cost of transponder.|
|(2) Private unregistered||A prepaid "Good To Go!™" account that:|
|•||Is for a private party (not a business entity); and|
|•||Does not include customer-identifying information. Private unregistered account customers are anonymous.|
|•||May be charged for cost of transponder.|
|(3) Commercial prepaid||A "Good To Go!™" account that:|
|•||Must be in a business name, which may be a person;|
|•||Must have a business contact listed on the account; and|
|•||May be charged for cost of transponder.|
|(4) Nonrevenue||A "Good To Go!™" account that:|
|•||Must be requested by an applicant;|
|•||Can only be opened after a signed authorization is obtained from WSDOT;|
|•||May be charged for cost of transponder; and|
|•||May be required to pay for a replacement transponder if a transponder is lost, stolen or defaced.|
(a) Provide tolling information to current and prospective "Good To Go!™" toll customers;
(b) Enroll toll customers into the department's "Good To Go!™" program;
(c) Accept "Good To Go!™" payments from customers;
(d) Accept V-Toll payments; and
(e) Provide other customer related services as needed.
(2) WSDOT may contract with an independent toll collection company to operate a CSC.
(3) To learn the location of a CSC near you and how it operates, please call 1-866-WDOT2GO (1-866-936-8246) or go on-line at wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo.
|Forms of payment acceptable for "Good To Go!™" account replenishment fees||Payment options available to walk-in customers||Mail-in payment options available||Telephone and fax payment options available||On-line payment options available||Automatic account replenishment payment options available|
|Cash and cash-equivalents (U.S. currency only):|
|U.S. coin and currency||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Forms of payment other than cash and cash-equivalents (U.S. currency only):|
|Credit cards (Master Card, VISA, Discover, American Express)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Labeled debit cards (no pin)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlabeled debit cards (with pin)||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Electronic Benefit Transfer||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Automated Clearing House||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
(1) Customer request.
(2) Automatic closure: Your account may be automatically closed:
(a) After twenty-four months of showing no account activity; or
(b) After one day of showing a zero balance; or
(c) Immediately upon showing a negative balance.
|(1) Your account is changed to "closed pending" status either by your request, or automatically, by twenty-four months of inactivity:||A refund will be distributed to you within fifteen days after any outstanding toll charges are paid.|
|(2) You visit a customer service center and request that your account be closed:||Any cash or credit card refunds due to you will be distributed to you within fifteen days after the day that you requested that your account be closed.|
|(3) You request and complete refund form and return it to the customer service center.||Any refunds due you will be processed and distributed to you within fifteen days from the date WSDOT received your completed request.|
|(4) You request a refund for disputed charges:||(a) Your request will be submitted to WSDOT for approval.|
|(b) If WSDOT approves your requested refund, it will be processed and distributed to you within fifteen days from the date your request was approved.|
|Accepted Form of Toll Payment:||Accepted Only In:|
|U.S. coin and currency||Staffed toll lanes and exact change lanes|
|Credit cards (Master Card, VISA, Discover, American Express)||Enabled toll lanes|
|Labeled debit cards (no pin)||Enabled toll lanes|
|Regional fare coordination system (RFCS) fare media (smart cards) from the Washington state ferry system and the regional transportation systems of Pierce, King, Snohomish and Thurston counties||Enabled toll lanes when implemented|
|Other noncash instruments authorized by the department||Enabled toll lanes|
|What customer services result in administrative fees being charged?||When is the administrative fee charged?||The amount of each administrative fee listed in this table is established in the "Good To Go!™" customer contract|
|Mailing paper copies of "Good To Go!™" private registered account statements||Private registered accounts will be assessed a fee for each paper statement mailed.||$1.50 per each statement mailed|
|Mailing paper copies of "Good To Go!™" commercial account statements beyond the regularly provided quarterly statement||Commercial customer accounts will be assessed a statement fee for each paper statement mailed in excess of the regular quarterly statement.||$.50 per page|
|Reprinting copies of "Good To Go!™" statements for "private registered accounts"||When a "Good To Go!™" customer requests that a reprint of a previous account statement be mailed to them.||$1.50 per each mailed reprinted statement|
|"Good To Go!™" customer whose account shows a negative balance, therefore the account is closed||When that "Good To Go!™" customer incurs further toll charges.||Manual toll charge and a $10.00 administrative fee|
|Processing nonsufficient fund (NSF) checks||Each time WSDOT receives notice of a NSF check.||Current fee rate for each nonsufficient check|
|Account collection fee||WSDOT will assess a collection fee when a toll customer's account is turned over to a collection agency.||Amount designated by the collection agency per each account|
|Closing an inactive "Good To Go!™" account||When a "Good To Go!™" customer account has not been used for twenty-four consecutive months. This monthly service fee will be assessed until the:||Inactive closing fee $5.00|
|(1) Customer's account balance drops below the lowest class toll rate in effect during the time the account is inactive; or|
|(2) Customer requests that their account be closed; or|
|(3) Customer reactivates their account by using it to pay a toll.|
|Replacing a transponder||"Good To Go!™" customers may be required to purchase a replacement transponder if it is lost, stolen or damaged.||Cost of transponder|
(1) Electronic statements are free and are automatically available to "Good To Go!™" customers at wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo;
(2) Paper statements, including reprints, may be provided without charge to customer service center walk-in customers upon request;
(3) The interactive voice response (IVR) system provides previous day account balance information and information regarding the last ten account transactions and the last five payments to call-in customers without charge at 1-866-WDOT2GO or 1-866-936-8246;
(4) Customer service representatives will provide account balance information to call-in customers without charge; and
(5) Paper statements will be issued to nonrevenue account customers without charge but only upon request and will be limited to no more than one statement per quarter.
(2) Other toll facility customers: If you use a WSDOT toll facility, whether you use the ETC lanes or the manual toll payment lanes, and do not pay your toll, your vehicle license will be photographed and a V-Toll bill will be issued consisting of the original toll amount plus an administrative fee. Payment of the V-Toll will be as follows:
(a) If you have a valid "Good To Go!™" ETC account, the V-Toll is automatically deducted from your account.
(b) If you have a "Good To Go!™" ETC account whether registered or unregistered that has been closed due to a negative balance at the time a new toll is charged, you will receive a V-Toll which will be sent to you by mail together with a notice of nonsufficient funds account balance and account closure.
(c) WSDOT V-Tolls are "self-escalating." Your V-Toll bill will contain specific escalation dates for each V-Toll you commit. The following table summarizes how your V-Toll bill increases if you delay responding to the WSDOT:
|Escalation stage:||Time period:||Your (toll violator) responsibility:|
|First stage||Day 1 through Day 7||You must pay the toll you owe plus the $10.00 administrative fee.|
|Second stage||Day 8 through Day 14||You must pay your unpaid toll plus the $20.00 administrative fee.|
|Third stage||Day 15 through Day 30||You must pay your unpaid toll plus the $40.00 administrative fee.|
(2) If you don't pay the V-Toll amount owed within forty-five days, the WSDOT may turn your unpaid V-Toll bill over to a collection agency; or
(3) If your V-Toll continues to be unpaid, the final outcome may be a hold on the renewal of your vehicle license tabs until the V-Toll and associated fees are paid.
|Type of Appeal||Basis for Appeal||Are Toll Payments Required with Your Appeal?|
|Form A appeals||If you can prove that:||No|
|•||You are an account holder in good standing; and|
|•||Your transponder was properly mounted when you incurred the V-Toll; and|
|•||Your transponder was faulty or malfunctioned.|
|Form B appeals||If you can verify that you are not responsible for the tolls incurred by the vehicle listed on the V-Toll bill due to one of the following reasons:||No|
|(1) The photographed vehicle was leased and the vehicle's owner can provide a copy of the lease agreement page that clearly shows the lessee's name and address; or|
|(2) The photographed vehicle was owned by a rental company and the rental company can provide a copy of the rental page contract that includes the renter's name, address and time of rental; or|
|(3) The photographed vehicle was stolen from you and you can provide a copy of the police report; or|
|(4) The photographed vehicle license plate identified in your V-Toll bill was stolen from you and you can provide a copy of the police report.|
(3) Your completed appeal form must be:
(a) Returned to the customer service center within twenty-five calendar days of the mail date of the V-Toll notice. The center will automatically reject any appeal forms received later than twenty-five calendar days from the V-Toll date.
(b) Signed and dated by you.
(c) Mailed to the address on appeal form.
(4) Once the customer service center receives your completed appeal form, WSDOT has ten days to notify you regarding the status of your appeal. The department's notification will be by telephone, e-mail or written letter.