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Bridge drivers ready for tolls

While no one’s anxious to actually pay tolls, hundreds of people proved anxious to sign-up for the ability to pay future Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls electronically this week.

According to the Washington State Department of Transpor-tation, dozens of TNB users showed up Wednesday in person to get the first Good To Go! transponders for their windshields, while hundreds more reportedly went online to buy them.

“We’re seeing such incredible numbers of people signing up that our online system is at or near capacity” said Lucinda Broussard, Good To Go! operations manager, on Thursday. “We are asking commuters to be patient and to keep trying. As more people sign-up, space should free up allowing others to get into the sign-up page.”

Broussard said the first day the electronic toll collection (ETC) transponders were available for sale, more than 1,834 people signed up for the stickers, and 86 percent of those did so via her agency’s Web site.

On top of that, she said there more than 4,400 visits to the Good To Go! Web site Wednesday alone, which overwhelmed the service.

“We’re thrilled there has been such a strong response for Good To Go!” said Broussard, who also encouraged people having difficulty with the Web site to keep trying to use it.

With a minimum of $30, anyone can start a Good To Go! account and receive a transponder to place on the inside of a car windshield. When the car nears the tollbooths, an antenna mounted over the roadway reads the transponder and the toll amount is automatically debited from the account assigned to that vehicle.

Commuters can get up to six transponders, one per vehicle, free of charge.

As an extra incentive, the WSDOT is sponsoring a sweepstakes for people signing up for transponders. Every private vehicle owner that signs up for Good To Go! through September 2007 will be entered in monthly drawings where they can win a year of free tolls or a prepaid gasoline card.

To sign up, either visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo, call (866) 936-8246, fax an application to (253) 853-4235, or visit the customer service center located at 3212 50th Street Court, Suite 200, Gig Harbor.

Applications also can be sent via regular mail to P.O. Box 5050, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-5050.

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