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520 Tolls starting tomorrow

Tomorrow (Thursday, 12-29-11), electronic tolls will kick in onthe 520 bridge across lake Washington.

A series of technical glitches caused multiple past delays.  But now, the reader boards are going live and billing drivers on the most popular route between Seattle and the east side.

There are many creative ways to get around the tolls, but you’re bound to have to pay, sooner or later.

New gadgets to choose from

There’s a ride sharing appfor mobile phones to help people find carpools and divvy up the cost of the new tolls.

You could also take a vanpool or a bus to work instead of your car…or find a different route such, as the 522 along the northern shore of Lake Washington.

And there’s even a new startup that’s creating a website and mobile app, called “520 or” Once it goes live, it promises to calculate the cost of a trip, including time spent idling and extra mileage, to help you choose the most affordable route.

But sooner or later, if you live in the region, you’re probably going to want a Good to Go transponder. They cost between $5 and $12 dollars and the state is pulling out all the stops now to get you to buy one. You can go online and order them, or go to one of their customer service locations to sign up.

Once you have it, you’ll save a buck fifty each way on the 520 bridge.

They also work on other tolled roads in the region – the HOT lanes on the east side south of Renton and on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor.


Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to