Tollway Increase Takes Effect

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New Year’s Day is the first day the cost for using the Illinois tollway doubles, at least for cash-paying drivers.

A tollway spokeswoman says the transition is going well. The tolls had been about 40 cents per plaza for all cars. The cost now is about 80 cents per plaza for cash-paying drivers. To avoid the higher rate, drivers must pay $50 for an I-PASS transponder. Tollway officials hope the increase will fund a $3.5 billion toll system expansion.

Here are some basics about how the I-PASS works and where to get one. The I-PASS transponder mounts on the inside of the windshield in most vehicles and electronically deducts tolls from a prepaid account.

I-PASS-only lanes allow users to travel through tolls at 30 miles per hour. Designated express lanes at a few toll plazas have a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit. The devices also can be used at automatic and manual booths, although drivers must stop.

I-PASSES can be purchased at Osco, Road Ranger and the Belvidere Oasis.