Illinois residents, no matter how often they use the Indiana Toll Road, will not be eligible for a toll discount. That discount will be reserved for residents of seven counties in Indiana once electronic tolling becomes a reality later this year.
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority officials issued statements last week criticizing the Indiana state government and private toll operator ITR Concession Co. for not giving a discount to Illinois residents using the Indiana Toll Road.
They are a little late. Provisions of the discount for Indiana residents were laid out prior to the summer 2006 lease of the 157- mile toll road to ITR Concession Co., a company formed by investors from Macquarie of Australia and Cintra of Spain.
The toll discount applies to residents of Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaGrange and Steuben counties in Northwest Indiana and was part of the $3.85 billion lease, which was part of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ long-term transportation plan called Major Moves.
“Part of the deal for getting Major Moves passed was to create that frequent-user or local discount,” ITR Concession Co. spokesman Matt Pierce told Land Line.
The discounts do not apply to trucks, regardless where the truck owners live.
ITR Concession Co. will use an electronic tolling system called I-Zoom on the Indiana Toll Road when toll collection goes high-tech in winter 2007, Pierce said.
I-Zoom will ensure residents of the seven toll road counties are on the discount plan until 2016. Their rates will be frozen at $4.80 for non-commercial vehicles, while people from outside the seven Indiana counties will pay the full price of $8.
– By David Tanner, staff writer