The new Interstate 405 express toll lanes between Lynnwood and Bellevue will open on Sunday, Sept. 27, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Thursday, leaving just over a month for drivers to get Good to Go!
“This is a major milestone for us, but also a major call to action for drivers, especially carpoolers, to get ready,” said Assistant Secretary of Transportation, Craig Stone. “We know from experience that some drivers wait until the last minute to prepare, inundating the customer center, so take action now to avoid the lines.”
Express toll lanes will operate on a 17-mile stretch between Interstate 5 in Lynnwood and NE Sixth Street in Bellevue. Drivers will have the option to pay a toll to travel at 45 mph or faster in the new lanes. Toll rates, set by the Washington State Transportation Commission, will adjust based on traffic in the system, and drivers can pay the toll with any existing Good To Go! pass or Pay By Mail for a higher rate.
Transit, vanpools, qualifying carpools and motorcycles will also benefit from a faster, more reliable trip toll-free with the correctGood To Go! pass.
WSDOT encourages commuters to decide which Good To Go! pass is best for them. Any existing Good To Go! pass will work to pay a toll in the express toll lanes, but only the Flex Pass will allow carpools to declare HOV status and ride toll-free.
How carpools can get ready:
• Carpools must have a Good To Go! Flex Pass set to HOV to ride toll-free in the express toll lanes. In addition, new carpool rules, set by the Washington State Transportation Commission, will require three or more people during weekday commute periods from 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. Two people qualify as a carpool all other times, including weekends.
• Anyone can buy a Flex Pass for $15 online, by phone, or at any Good To Go! customer service center.
• Drivers who carpool at least once a week on I-405 qualify for a free Flex Pass through WSDOT’s partnership withRideshareOnline.com and local partner networks.
• Drivers who receive a free pass must activate it through an existing Good To Go! account or a new account with a $30 pre-paid balance by visiting MyGoodToGo.com or by calling 1-866-936-8246.
“We’ve already distributed more than 50,000 Flex Passes—including11,000 free passes through RideshareOnline.com—and we expect the demand to increase now that we’re officially counting down,” said Stone. “If you want a free pass in the mail before launch, you must get your request in before the end of August.”
Motorcycles will need a Good To Go! motorcycle pass to ride free in the express toll lanes. Over 20,000 motorcycle owners are already prepared with a motorcycle pass, and WSDOT will provide motorcyclists who travel on I-405 with one free pass per person while supplies last in 2015. Motorcyclists can request a free pass by taking a brief online survey. The free pass will operate in the express toll lanes without a Good To Go! account, however, it must be linked to an account to work properly on other toll facilities where motorcycles are not exempt.
Visit GoodToGo405.org to learn more about I-405 express toll lanes. An animated video explains how to get ready for launch in September and gives an example of what a trip may look like in the express toll lanes.
WSDOT is building a new lane adjacent to the carpool lane between NE Sixth Street in Bellevue and State Route 522 in Bothell to create a dual, express-toll-lane system. The existing carpool lane between Bothell and Lynnwood will become a single express toll lane.
In the weeks leading up to launch, drivers will see construction crews along the corridor adding new striping that restricts access to the toll lanes to certain designated areas. WSDOT will notify the public of major closures and detours coming in September. To keep up to date on the construction schedule, please consider subscribing to the Eastside Transportation News e-mail newsletter through WSDOT email updates.