ILLINOIS (WIFR) -- In recognition of the Illinois Tollway issuing its 5 millionth I-PASS transponder, Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur congratulated the newest customers joining the Tollway’s I-PASS program during a celebration of the agency’s popular electronic tolling program.
First launched in 1993, the I-PASS system saves customers an estimated two hours of weekly travel time by allowing them to pay tolls electronically while driving at highway speeds through open road tolling lanes.
The Illinois Tollway operates the largest open road tolling system in the country, with more than 2.2 million daily toll transactions and 5 million transponders in use. More than 87 percent of all transactions are I-PASS transactions, giving the agency the highest national percentage of customers who choose to pay electronically.
I-PASS users also pay 50 percent less than customers who must stop – and sometimes wait in line – to use cash. I-PASS rates for trucks and vehicles with trailers vary.
“I-PASS has created a whole different experience for our customers, who don’t even have to slow down to pay their tolls as they travel, something that was unimaginable not all that long ago,” said Executive Director Lafleur. “We expect I-PASS to continue to remain popular because drivers save so much time and money by using it.”
Executive Director Lafleur greeted Val Pehler and Ted Krason when they visited the Illinois Tollway Customer Service Center located in its Central Administration building in Downers Grove on Tuesday afternoon to open their I-PASS account and became part of the celebration for the Tollway’s sale of 5 million I-PASS transponders. Pehler and Krason also were presented $100 in I-PASS gift cards that can be used to refill their I-PASS account to ensure miles of worry-free Tollway driving.
“I talked him into coming down here to get I-PASS,” said Pehler, a Chicago resident. “It’s so easy to use and it doesn’t expire, so we can use it for a long time.”
“She said we had to get it because it saves time on the Tollway, plus I really like the fact that you can use it in other states, too,” said Krason, a Brookfield resident, adding his new I-PASS transponder also will make it easier for him to visit his brother in the south suburbs.
The popularity of I-PASS has soared in recent years. The Tollway issued its 1 millionth I-PASS transponder in 2003, a decade after launching its electronic tolling program. Since 2003, the Tollway has issued an additional 4 million transponders.
“The large number of I-PASS transponders in use demonstrates how important this program has become to our customers, who appreciate the safety, convenience and cost savings offered by electronic tolling,” said Illinois Tollway Board Chair Paula Wolff
Customers can easily manage or add more funds to their I-PASS accounts by visiting the Tollway’s website, www.illinoistollway.com.
I-PASS can be used anywhere on the Tollway, as well as on other tollways using E-ZPass, including the Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road.
As a member of the E-ZPass Group, the Tollway is part of the largest interoperable toll network in the world. There are more than 25 million transponders in use and, in 2012, a total of more than 2.4 billion transactions were processed by the 25 member toll agencies in 15 states.