To the Editor:
Your readers should know that travelers without I-Pass have another way to pay for using all-electronic interchanges such as the Route 47 interchange at Interstate 90.
Non-I-Pass customers have seven days to pay tolls online or by mail. Online toll payments are the same as standard cash rates. There’s no penalty.
And we recently launched an improved feature allowing drivers with unpaid tolls to find their route on an interactive map, calculate the amount due and pay online. This makes it easier for customers to pay unpaid tolls during the seven-day grace period.
All-electronic tolling offers many benefits. It saves drivers time, reduces congestion and improves mobility by allowing travelers to drive at highway speeds without stopping at tollbooths. I-Pass saves customers an average of 10 minutes per trip and commuters an average of 2.5 hours per week.
It also reduces pollution. The Rockford Metropolitan Planning Agency recently attributed declining ozone levels to our systemwide conversion to open road tolling in 2006.
And all-electronic interchanges cost less to build. The interchange at Route 47 and I-90 costs about 7 percent less than an interchange with cash lanes because of its smaller footprint.
Today, the Illinois Tollway operates the nation’s largest open road tolling system, with more than 2.2 million daily toll transactions and 87 percent of tolls paid electronically.
We’ll continue to promote all-electronic tolling because it’s best for our customers and the environment and allows us to make the best investment of tollpayers’ money.
Illinois Tollway, executive director