Here’s a reminder that a new high-occupancy toll lane will open Saturday (Dec. 17) on southbound state Route 167 between Auburn and Pacific.
Solo drivers with a Good to Go Flex Pass from the state Department of Transportation will be able to use the new lane by paying a toll.
The new lane will be available for free to carpools of two or more and for a toll ranging from 50 cents to $9 for solo drivers.
The rate is based on traffic congestion: the more congestion, the higher the rate.
Tolling will begin at 5 a.m. Saturday.
A special note to folks who have a Good to Go sticker pass: You’ll be charged the toll rate even if you have two or more people in your vehicle.
Transportation Department spokeswoman Laura Johnson explains why:
“Sticker passes do not have the technology to tell us whether a vehicle is a solo driver or a carpool. That technology is only available in a Flex Pass, with which the driver can declare their vehicle a carpool by switching the pass to HOV mode.”
Transportation Department records show about 825,000 sticker passes are still in use statewide.
Johnson said the Transportation Department will give sticker pass users a one-time break if they are charged the toll rate in the new HOT lane while carpooling.
“If a driver carpools with a sticker pass and is not aware that they need the Flex Pass to ensure they are not charged, customer service can work with them to clarify this requirement for future trips and can waive the toll for a first-time occurrence,” she said.
Passes that allow solo drivers to use HOT lanes can be obtained at select QFC and Fred Meyer stores or by logging on to mygoodtogo.com.