The Bridge of the Gods is just about ready to start electronic tolling and, while there is still plenty of time to set up a BreezeBy account before the system goes live Jan. 6, Port of Cascade Locks Local Stickers and coupon books will be accepted as discounted tolls and payment until Feb. 3.
Ultimately, BreezeBy transponders will replace the stickers and coupon books that have traditionally provided local commuters with discounted tolls. Bridge users that have signed up for BreezeBy will pay $1.25 per crossing of the Bridge of the Gods, and $1 at the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge, versus a $2 cash toll at both bridges, according to a press release from the Port of Cascade Locks. Toll rates depend on vehicle class, with larger class vehicle tolls determined by the number of axles, said the press release.
The “BreezeBy” system was first implemented for the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge in 2006, establishing the first electronic tolling system in Oregon. The system utilizes prepaid funds and transponders to facilitate faster commutes through the toll plaza and provide user discounts.
The Port of Cascade Locks signed an intergovernmental agreement with the Port of Hood River back in October for use of the system. Because the Port of Hood River owns the BreezeBy system, the Port of Hood River will provide back office services for the Port of Cascade Locks and The Port of Hood River will retain 13 cents per crossing to cover operational costs.
The Port of Cascade Locks will be able to control its own toll rates, but will have to follow the same business rules, such as vehicle classifications and account policies, as the Port of Hood River.
Current Port of Hood River BreezeBy customers don’t need to do anything to be able to use their transponders on the Bridge of the Gods when the Cascade Locks system goes live Jan. 6: BreezeBy customer account statements will depict which bridge was crossed for each charge to the account balance, said the press release.
New BreezeBy customers can open an account online and receive their transponders in the mail.
New accounts can be created online at portofcascadelocks.org (click BREEZEBY, then click the BreezeBy logo, then click “New Account”). There is no required personal identification to open an account, but each transponder is linked to a specific vehicle, so the make, model, color, year, and license plate number is required.
New customers should expect to receive their new transponders in the mail within three to four business days, depending on the volume of orders. New customers can open an account at either port office during regular business hours. New accounts cannot be created at the toll booths, however, due to traffic flow and safety concerns.
Port of Cascade Locks customers can redeem any unused bridge coupons for credit of their value into a BreezeBy account at either port office during regular business hours. There are no fees to open an account, and each account receives one transponder for free; each additional transponder costs $5.
For more information, contact the Port of Cascade Locks via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the port office at 427 Portage Road in Cascade Locks.
Questions can also be directed to the Port of Hood River via email to email@example.com, or visit the port office at 1000 E. Port Marina Drive in Hood River.