Toll Hike Expected To Be Approved On Thursday

CHICAGO (STMW) – The Illinois Tollway board appears ready to hike I-Pass tolls from 15 cents to 90 cents per toll on Thursday, and Gov. Quinn says that’s what’s needed for the state to have good roads.

“An overwhelming number of folks support … the proposal,” Quinn said Wednesday. “I think it’s important that we understand in Illinois that we’re not going to be able to have safe roads and lessen congestion on the highways unless we invest.”

Tollway board member Bill Morris has argued for a lesser hike, but his appears to be a minority view. Quinn stopped short of formally urging board members to support the hike.

“I don’t direct the board to do anything,” Quinn said.

Under the proposal expected to pass Thursday, I-Pass tolls for passenger vehicles would range from 30 cents to $1.90, up from the current 15 cents to $1. Cash-paying passenger vehicles would pay double the I-Pass rate.

After hearing testimony from construction union members, elected officials and others about the benefits of widening the I-90 to Rockford, starting the western access to O’Hare and building a Tri-State-I-57 interchange, and how Illinois’ low toll rate compared to other regions, Quinn said he was confident board members would “do the right thing.”

Illinois’ transportation network is one of its selling points for luring businesses and jobs to the state, he said. A higher toll and better tollways will help maintain that reputation, he said.

“I don’t think anybody likes toll increases — who would like that? — but the bottom line is: Sometimes it’s necessary if you’re going to have less congestion. We have the most congested highways and tollways in the United States,” Quinn said.

Drivers will accept the higher tolls if it leads to shorter commutes, he said.

“I think a lot of people appreciate the fact they can get home faster — that saves them time and money,” Quinn said. “And we have not had a general toll increase since 1983.”

Under the proposed increase, the cost of a car trip on the Tollway system for an average I-PASS customer would rise to $1.18 – up from today’s average of 63 cents per trip, tollway officials said.

Quinn made his comments after signing three bills designed to clean up Illinois’ rivers. One bill, inspired by high school students from Pontiac and Antioch, will make it easier for people to drop off old prescription bottles in boxes to be left at local police stations and other drop-off points so those chemicals do not make it into Illinois rivers.

“Our mission is to make this river behind us fishable and swimmable by 2025,” Quinn said, gesturing to the Chicago River near Michigan Avenue.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • billyd

    This boob Quinn never met a tax he didn’t like. Will we ever get a governor with some imagination and creativity? Or are these slugs we elect just a reflection of our own lameness as a people?

    By the way, I use the tollway about four times a year, so it doesn’t impact me directly. It’ll just hurt working people, so who cares? Certainly not Illinois’ political ruling class.


    The same old story. This is typical pay back to the unions for all their contributions to the fat cat Democrats in the Illannoys political ruling class. The holy grail of graft,the Illrepute toll road,just finished a multi year road work project and now we must start another multi year project to keep the coffers and paybacks flowing.And the greasy corrupt wheel goes around,and around,and around.Why on Earth do you sheep keep putting these idiotic crooks in office?

  • Bill S.

    Blow me! Blow me! Blow me!

    Limo drivers unite ! Stand up now and be counted .. or lay down and be ‘mounted’ by tollway officials. Bend over and grease up if you think they are bluffing. Your take-home pay just got that much smaller- especially after the doubling of airport departure taxes, Quinn’s state income tax robbery and double-high gas prices. I’m tire of getting it in the behind — you should be too!

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    […] effectively into the seventh and the Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Wednesday night.Toll Hike Expected To Be Approved On ThursdayThe Illinois Tollway board appears ready to hike I-Pass tolls from 15 cents to 90 cents per toll on […]

  • fromthestreets

    “An overwhelming number of folks support … the proposal,” Really… let’s put it to a vote !

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