January 30, 2013

Functionality Testing Underway for All Electronic Tolling System at the Golden Gate Bridge

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The Golden Gate Bridge all electronic tolling system installation is complete and Functionality Testing is now underway, taking the iconic Golden Gate Bridge one step closer to being the first toll bridge in California to make the switch from manual toll collection to all electronic tolling. The all electronic system program was approved by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in January 2011 and has been undergoing installation since.

The Functionality Testing phase will last up to 60 days and is a vital step on the way toward the full conversion, which is now anticipated for the end of March 2013. During Functionality Testing, two toll payment systems are operational on the Golden Gate Bridge: (1) the existing tolling system which accepts cash in the toll lanes and reads FasTrak toll tags, and (2) the new all electronic tolling system that includes FasTrak and three new Pay-By-Plate toll payment options. These three new Pay-By-Plate toll payment options include: Opening a License Plate Account, Making a One-Time Payment, or Paying a Toll Invoice.

At the end of Functionality Testing, when it is time to “cut-over” to all electronic tolling (late March 2013), cash will no longer be accepted at the Toll Plaza. Once the conversion is made, vehicles will no longer have to stop at the Toll Plaza and can pay tolls with FasTrak or Pay-By-Plate options.

As of January 30 2013, customers can continue to use the existing toll payment options: FasTrak and cash, and if they want to, customers may try the new Pay-By-Plate options: License Plate Account, One-Time Payment, or Toll Invoice. Customers do not have to make any change in toll payment choice YET!

The Functionality Testing phase allows time to confirm the accuracy of all of the various systems involved in converting to all electronic tolling. The following will be tested:

  1. Testing new Toll System software and functionalities such as: reporting, file exchanges, and reconciliation.
  2. Testing the processing of a new feature called a Toll Invoice, from the Toll Plaza, to its generation at the Customer Service Center to mailing it to the registered owner of a vehicle. For the duration of the Functionality Testing, Toll Invoices will be sent to drivers who go through the Toll Plaza without paying toll or a FasTrak Account. The Toll Invoice replaces the current action which dubs the motorist an instant toll violator and a Toll Violation is mailed that includes fines.
  3. Testing the opening of a License Plate Account as well as all of the Account features and functionality.
  4. THIS TESTING NOT STARTED YET - this will come later in February: Testing the new Cash Payment Network, which offer locations for in-person CASH payments for FasTrak, Pay-By-Plate (License Plate Account, One-Time Payment, Toll Invoice) Accounts as well as Toll Violations.