WSR 07-10-008

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed April 19, 2007, 10:37 a.m. , effective May 20, 2007 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: To implement tolling statutes contained chapters 47.46, 47.56, and 46.63 RCW for operation [of] the toll facilities, and ensure compatibility between transponder-based systems and adoption of an "open standard" for toll technology in Washington state.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 47.46.105, 46.63.160, 47.56.403.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 07-02-101 on January 3, 2007.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: There have been no significant changes to these proposed rules being adopted at this time. Several of the proposed rules are not being adopted because they are the subject of pending legislation. Sections that address the toll enforcement process have been temporarily removed pending the outcome of the legislation. Sections that address toll exemptions and promotional rates have been removed because these topics will be addressed by the appropriate policy setting bodies.

The sections that have been removed are the following: WAC 468-300-803 Are any vehicles exempt from the toll collection provisions of these rules?, 468-300-870 What if I drive through a toll facility lane without paying a toll?, 468-300-872 Who receives the V-Toll bill when the photo enforcement system photographs the vehicle and license plate of a driver who has not paid a required toll?, 468-300-876 What happens if I don't pay the V-Toll amount I owe?, 468-300-878 How and where to I pay my V-Toll bills?, and 468-300-880 Can I appeal my V-Toll?

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 20, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: April 16, 2007.

John F. Conrad

Assistant Secretary for

Engineering and Regional Operations

OTS-9412.5

BRIDGE AND HIGHWAY TOLL COLLECTIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE
NEW SECTION
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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-805   What definitions are important to understanding these rules?   The terms "check," "cashiers check," "bank check" and "travelers' checks" used in these toll rules are defined in RCW 62A.3-104 Negotiable instrument. In addition to the check definitions in RCW 62A.3-104, the following definitions are important to understanding these rules:

"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 into which customers deposit funds for the automatic, electronic payment of tolls.

"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 (i.e., two axle) 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.

"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.

"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 and the vehicle license plate 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.

No photograph, digital photograph, microphotograph, videotape, or other recorded image may be used for any purpose other than toll enforcement, nor retained longer than necessary to verify that tolls are paid, or to enforce toll evasion violations.

"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.

"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 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.

"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" is an alternative method of toll collection from a "Good to Go!" account holder. If a "Good to Go!" account holder uses the toll facility but does not pay the toll because his or her transponder is not properly mounted on the account holder's registered vehicle a photo-monitoring system captures the vehicle's license plate and the toll will be posted to the "Good to Go!" account.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-808   What toll paying methods are available on WSDOT toll facilities?   The following toll paying methods are available on WSDOT toll facilities:

(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 two 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).

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-810   Who collects the tolls charged on WSDOT toll roads and bridges?   (1) To ensure that tolls at all WSDOT toll facilities are collected in a timely, effective and efficient manner, WSDOT may contract with one or more independent toll collection companies to manage the day-to-day toll collection activities at its various toll facilities.

(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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-820   What is a "Good To Go!" toll collection system?   (1) "Good To Go!" is the trademark name for WSDOT's electronic toll collection (ETC) system. This ETC system uses an electronic transmission from a transponder mounted in a toll customer's motor vehicle to record the toll charge and then debit the toll customer's account with an appropriate toll as the customer's vehicle passes through the toll facility at regular speed with no need for slowing or stopping.

(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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-822   Is the WSDOT electronic toll collection (ETC) system compatible with electronic payment methods used by other transportation systems?   (1) At the time ETC was first implemented in the United States, automatic vehicle identification (AVI) technology in general was not interoperable;

(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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-824   Will commercial vehicles using the CVISN program need a special transponder to use WSDOT toll facilities?   WSDOT will install readers at all toll sites that will accept electronic toll payments from any commercial vehicle participating in the Washington state electronic weigh state bypass (CVISN) program.

A CVISN participant must open an active "Good To Go!" account to use this service.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-826   What is "dynamic toll pricing?"   Dynamic toll pricing is a toll pricing method that changes based upon live traffic conditions, to maximize the performance of the tolled facility. For example, in a HOT lane the toll rate charged to enter the lane will be lower when more lane space is available, and higher when less lane space is available.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-828   What is the purpose of the department's State Route 167 high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes pilot project?   (1) In chapter 47.56 RCW, the legislature authorized WSDOT to establish, construct and operate a HOT lane pilot project on State Route 167 within King County. The purpose of the project is to help determine if HOT lanes can more efficiently move people and vehicles within the SR 167 corridor by allowing drivers of single occupant vehicles, who pay a toll, to use SR 167 HOV lanes when excess capacity exists.

(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 high occupancy vehicles.

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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-830   How can I open a "Good To Go!" customer account and use the electronic toll collection lanes?   To open a "Good To Go!" customer account, you must complete the "Good To Go!" account application and prepay at least the minimum fund balance into the account.


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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-832   What types of "Good To Go!" customer accounts are available?   The following table identifies and describes the various "Good To Go!" customer accounts that are available:


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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-834   Do I need to establish a separate "Good To Go!" account for each "Good To Go!" toll road or bridge that I use?   If you are using a "Good To Go!" transponder issued by any "Good To Go!" toll facility operator, you may use any "Good To Go!" toll facility without establishing a separate toll account.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-840   What is a customer service center (CSC)?   (1) CSCs are established for "Good To Go!" toll projects to:

(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; and

(d) 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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-850   What toll payment methods are available to "Good To Go!" customers?   The following table describes the payment methods available to "Good To Go!" customers:


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
Personal checks Yes Yes No No No
Business checks Yes Yes No No No
Travelers checks Yes Yes No No No
Bank checks Yes Yes No No No
Money orders Yes Yes No No No
Vouchers 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

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-852   How can my customer account be closed?   Your account may be closed by:

(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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-853   If my registered account is closed, am I entitled to a refund?   Refunds may be obtained upon closure of your registered account according to the procedures and circumstances listed in the table below. Refunds shall be in the form of original payment, when possible. For example, if deposit was made by credit card, the refund would be a credit to the same credit card.


If: Then:
(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.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-854   What toll payment methods are available to manual toll customers?   The following table describes the forms of toll payments available to manual toll customers and the conditions under which toll collectors will accept those payments:


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

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-860   What administrative fees may apply to WSDOT toll customers?   The following table lists and explains the administrative fees that a toll customer may have to pay:


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
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

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-862   What administrative services are provided to WSDOT toll customers without charge?   The WSDOT provides the following administrative services to WSDOT toll customers without charge:

(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; and

(4) Customer service representatives will provide account balance information to call-in customers without charge.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 468-300-890   How does WSDOT process dishonored checks and dishonored credit card transactions?   The process for handling dishonored checks and dishonored credit card transactions described in this section is based upon WAC 468-20-900 (Dishonored checks).

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office