Activation Trouble

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On Saturday, the Illinois Tollway started a new I-PASS system. Tollway authorities say the transition is going smoothly but many new I-PASS users have a different report.

We've heard for months about the major overhaul taking place on Illinois Tollways starting January 1. We knew we either needed to buy an I-PASS or be prepared to find more change, but that still didn't stop many of us from waiting till the last minute. Now all the procrastinating is causing long delays for those trying to activate their transponder.

This is day number three that drivers and trucks without an I-PASS have had to pay more. Over the weekend some first time users got a message following message instead of a person to help activate their new account.

High caller frequency is the main reason why we are having problems activating our I-PASS. From December 1 to December 25, 1.5 million passes were sold, so now the rush is on to submit your information.

Here are the numbers from the past three days that reflect how many call or Internet hits the Tollway is experiencing. On December 31 nearly 30,000 transponders were activated. On January 1 almost 16,000 people activated their transponders. On January 2 just over 20,000 people activated their I-PASS.

Joelle McGinnis with the Illinois Tollway says, “We do not have systems that will rival ebay or Ticketmaster. We know this is a short lived surge.”

Normally it takes about 15 minutes to activate an I-PASS these days it will take up to 8 hours to activate. The best advice the tollway is telling 23 News is to keep trying. The website is up and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The 1-800-UC-IPASS number is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.