I-Pass, You Don't
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced yesterday a plan to hike Illinois Toll Road car tolls from 40-cents per stop to 80-cents for drivers without an I-Pass starting January 1, 2005 -- but no change for I-Pass users. Trucks will go up from $1.50 to a whopping $4.00, I-Pass or not.
Those are pretty big hikes, and will make those trips to Madison and Milwaukee that much more unpleasant (than just the mere pain of going to talk to Cheeseheads), but Gov. Blago wants the money to pay for a 12.5 mile extension of I-355 into Will County. Another added benefit will be an increase in the number of I-Pass lanes, so I-Pass owners can breeze past all those losers paying with loose change.
Chicagoist is a big fan of I-Pass and loves that you can just pick one up at the Jewel. We are not, however, a big fan of the $50 up-front cost you have to lay out for the thing. We also wonder why Illinois uses it's own proprietary system when states from Massachusetts to Maryland have banded together to operate E-ZPass so you can cruise without stopping from Boston to Pittsburgh, or Wilkes-Barre to Baltimore. And they've got a much better system of administrating the passes.