The Nose: Good to Go? Oh, no! State may regret asking our opinion

TheNose@thenewstribune.comMay 23, 2014 

Get ready to crack open your coin jar, bridge jockeys. Come July, you’ll have to pay an extra 25 cents to cross the Tacoma Narrows heading east.

Or as T-Towners might tell the Gigglers, a shiny silver quarter is your increased price to escape the prison colony and gain passage to the mainland.

Because freedom isn’t free.

Give some credit to the state Department of Transportation, though. At least you’re still only being charged to drive in one direction (forward).

The DOTheads also care what you think. After setting the electronic toll at $1.75 when the new bridge opened in 2007 and gradually raising it to $4.50 this summer, they decided it’s time to hear from customers.

Awfully charitable of them. With what amounts to a monopoly, they could just say: You gotta problem with our bridge? Enjoy the swim.

Instead, they’re doing surveys with help from their out-of-state tolling contractor, Electronic Transaction Consultants Corp. We only hope ETCC brings the same glitch-free reliability and Texas timeliness it brought to other projects, such as the 2011 launch of photo tolling.

Today, The Proboscis shares our sample survey, based largely (but not entirely) on the one we received by email this week. The survey options rarely captured our feelings, so we added our own.

How do you pay your tolls?

A. With Good to Go! pass mounted on vehicle.

B. With Good to Go! account tied to license plate.

Answer:

C. With seething resentment for drivers on other state bridges who don’t have to pay tolls.

How would you describe the usefulness of mygoodtogo.com?

A. Good.

B. Bad.

Answer:

C. Terrible, but better than wahealthplanfinder.org.

How would you respond to this statement: “The toll rate I pay is reasonable.”

A. Agree.

B. Disagree.

Answer:

C. Are you seriously asking this question?

How would you respond to this statement: “I think tolling certain roadways but not others is unfair.”

A. Agree.

B. Disagree.

Answer:

C. Is the pope Catholic?

What is your total annual household income?

A. $50,000 or less.

B. $50,000-150,000.

C. $150,000 or above.

Answer:

Please clarify. Do you mean before or after paying a year’s worth of @#$%&! tolls?

What race would you classify yourself as?:

A. Nonwhite

B. White

C. Really white.

Answer:

D. Gig Harbor white.

If you answered D to the previous question, please specify:

A. Norwegian wan.

B. Swedish pasty.

C. Croatian pale with a hint of fisherman’s sunburn.

How would you reply to this statement: “Tolled roadways are a viable option to pay for transportation improvements.”

A. Disagree.

B. Agree.

Answer:

Strongly agree. In fact, please start tolling the Purdy Spit and Fox Island Bridge, too. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Tell us five strengths you see in Good to Go! service (in 100 words or less):

1. Almost 74 years and counting since last bridge collapse.

2. Morning traffic jams were effectively and efficiently moved about 3 miles east on State Route 16.

3. Bikers and pedestrians no longer need last will and testament before crossing Narrows.

4. Three ways to pay = more convenient options for commuters to slowly go bankrupt.

5. Spunky use of punctuation marks takes the edge off having to pay more. (See also: Click! cable.)

Tell us 5 ways you think Good to Go! could improve its service (in 100 words or less):

1. Replace unneeded toll booths with much-needed bikini barista stands.

2. Patch craters on old bridge. Tacoma drivers know how to handle potholes; Gig Harbor drivers, not so much.

3. New toll payment method: Bitcoin.

4. Install a smoking patio at midspan for folks to enjoy the view. Also, a portable toilet, a taco truck and a zipline to Titlow Beach.

5. Punchcard for valued patrons: Buy five tolls, get the sixth one free!

When was the last time you called the Good to Go! phone number?

A. Never

B. Last year.

C. Once this year.

Answer:

D. Seven times a day.

What was the reason for the contact?

Good to Go! sounds like one of those steamy 24-hour chat lines.

How did the customer service professional respond to your call? (Check all that apply)

__ Provided respectful service in friendly manner.

__ Gave accurate information.

__ Resolved my issue.

3 Other — Sought a restraining order.

Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune

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