Toll increases now in effect on Illinois Tollway

| 1/4/2005

New, higher toll rates officially went into effect Jan. 1 on the Illinois Tollway.

Illinois Tollway officials approved the plan Sept. 30. It increases the number of hours truckers can receive the off-peak rate and allows the discount even if they use I-Pass, said Joelle McGinnis, press secretary for the Illinois Tollway.

However, rates for truckers have still more than doubled.

From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., all truckers – paying with cash or I-Pass – will pay the off-peak $3 rate. Additional off-peak hours for truckers using I-Pass will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and all weekend long. During those additional hours, truckers paying with cash will pay the $4 rate.

All truckers using the toll roads would pay the full $4 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays – when the Tollway’s routes are clogged with commuters in the Chicago area.

The toll is charged at each toll plaza a truck passes through. On the Tri-State Tollway, truckers must pass through five.

In August, Gov. Rod Blagojevich proposed nearly quadrupling the tolls truckers pay on the Illinois Tollway. However, that plan was scaled back to the current increase.

Tollway officials said in a statement that the money from the increased tolls is earmarked for rebuilding and restoring most of the roads in the Tollway system, adding lanes to the system’s major roads, replacing toll plazas and building the Interstate 355 South Extension.