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Travelling thru the Chicago area can be costly.

dago

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First, a little history. I don’t enjoy flying, so, unless absolutely necessary, I drive to my destination. I usually study the maps and generally try not to drive thru big cities at rush hour.

Chicago is an exception. It is always rush hour. I found that out quickly. Driving from Ohio. the excessive traffic starts at around the Gary, IN area and continues to about the Joliet, IL area. Now, as long you follow I80, it’s really not a problem, but if you need to go up to Wisconsin, most GPS’s will send you onto the Dan Ryan expressway(I90). YIKES, a giant parking lot. So, in order to avoid that, whenever I need to go up to WI, I try to find an alternate route. Chicago has a bunch of roads that go thru the suburbs.

One time I took I355 to I88 to I39. Seemed like a good alternative. Although traffic was heavy, it moved along quite well. Only having to stop to pay the tolls on I355 and I88.

Now we come to Dec of 2019, when I made a spur of the moment trip to Janesville, WI(near Madison). I decided to try a different alternate route; this time taking I294 to I90 to I39.

Here is where it became costly. I294 and I90 are toll roads. They have toll plaza along the way. A total of 13 on the round trip. The total amount of the tolls comes to $23.30. This seemed like another good alternative, as again even tough the traffic was heavy, it flowed quite smoothly.

While driving I noticed the toll booths, but there were no vehicles parked there, and they didn’t look like there were any attendants at them, so I happily stayed in my lane, and breezed thru right up to the WI border. I was thoroughly confused. I thought they stopped collecting tolls on that road. What I didn’t realize was that I was in an E-Z pass lane. It never crossed my mind.

I found out months later, when I received a “notice of toll violation” from the Illinois Tollway.

I was shocked. So I figured no big deal, pay the tolls and move on. Problem was – for every toll violation they assess a $20 fine. I missed 13 tolls so that meant $260 in fines. I filed a dispute, tried to explain my confusion and offered to pay the tolls and $40 worth of fines. They didn’t buy it. So, a short 2 day trip of about 800 miles turned out to be very costly, and I learned a valuable lesson. Spend a little extra time planning your trip. Had I done more research I would have found that I could have gotten an E-Z pass in Ohio which would have been good in Illinois.
 

DrQ

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Now you know why I'm FROM Illinois. ;)

The Skyway's official name, referring to it as a "toll bridge" rather than a "toll road", is the result of a legal quirk. At the time of its construction, the city charter of Chicago did not provide the authority to construct a toll road. However, the city could build toll bridges, and it was found that there was no limit to the length of the approaches to the bridge. Therefore, the Skyway is technically a toll bridge spanning the Calumet River with a six-mile-long (9.7 km) approach. This also is part of the reason that there are no exits available until after one has crossed the bridge and paid the toll. (When it was built, "The Chicago Way")​
 
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davidvel

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The stories of corruption my grandfather told me... There's a reason people say the state motto is "Vote Early and Often."
 

geekette

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My GPS took me through a fast pass lane in Florida around 2010. Just Once I made that mistake in the rental car. I thought they would send me a bill, not so hard to find who rented the car... but I guess since it was only once, and every other time I paid, they let me go for the mistake. That's a massive penalty fee you got.

It wasn't long after that trip of mine that they went to no cash lanes, gotta have the SunPass. More of a pain, but, haven't been to FL since, so, not a pain for me. Maybe if you'd only done it once, you would have caught a break. I'm not sure how you could not notice the big EZ pass signs overhead!?
 

Timeshare Von

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We avoid the tolls in Illinois (and especially around Chicago) at ALL COSTS!
 

dago

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We avoid the tolls in Illinois (and especially around Chicago) at ALL COSTS!
Yeah. I did that one time, when I stayed overnight in Rockford, IL on the way back home from a western trip. Rather than taking one of the spurs(I355,I294), I drove down I39 all the way to I80. Longer drive, but less stressful.
 

bbodb1

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In Chicago, you should always take the mall route....
 

louisianab

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They have the signs, if you miss the tolls. The EZ pass arm shouldn't go up unless you pay (you can pay in those lanes, just be prepared for a mom in a minivan with Michigan plates to be rolling her eyes, while she types on TUG)

edit : with open road tolling, it is easier to miss - but still does have signs.
 
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klpca

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At our first toll booth outside of Paris, as the navigator I told my husband to go to the lane that showed "nickles and dollars" meaning the lane that showed coins and paper bills. It's just what popped out of my mouth while we were zooming along. My husband (greatest guy in the world) is a very literal engineer especially when confronted with something new. He of course didn't see anything with "nickles and dollars" and for some reason chose the one and only EZ Pass lane (or whatever they call it in France). I was absolutely freaking out because as we got closer there was just a gate, no booth, no attendant. Luckily as we approached the gate magically went up. We could not figure out why and also figured that we would be getting a large fine at some point. We had a fairly heated discussion about which lane to use in the future and once I was told that I should have said "coins and euros" :rolleyes: we were fine the rest of the trip. We puzzled over this for about three days until we suddenly noticed a small transponder thing in the upper left hand side of the windshield that matched the icon on the EZ pass lane. I guess that the rental car company didn't want tourists to get stuck in the lane so they put a transponder in the car but didn't mention it to us. We never received anything - nothing from the rental car company, nothing from the country of France. Incidents like this are the only thing that my husband and I argue about and is the main reason that I hate driving in a foreign country with him. We try to avoid it at all costs because it just stresses us out too much.

By the way it was about $15 +/- to get from Paris to Mt Ste Michel, each way. (Probably more as we didn't pay for the first toll, lol)
 
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dago

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At our first toll booth outside of Paris, as the navigator I told my husband to go to the lane that showed "nickles and dollars" meaning the lane that showed coins and paper bills. It's just what popped out of my mouth while we were zooming along. My husband (greatest guy in the world) is a very literal engineer especially when confronted with something new. He of course didn't see anything with "nickles and dollars" and for some reason chose the one and only EZ Pass lane (or whatever they call it in France). I was absolutely freaking out because as we got closer there was just a gate, no booth, no attendant. Luckily as we approached the gate magically went up. We could not figure out why and also figured that we would be getting a large fine at some point. We had a fairly heated discussion about which lane to use in the future and once I was told that I should have said "coins and euros" :rolleyes: we were fine the rest of the trip. We puzzled over this for about three days until we suddenly noticed a small transponder thing in the upper left hand side of the windshield that matched the icon on the EZ pass lane. I guess that the rental car company didn't want tourists to get stuck in the lane so they put a transponder in the car but didn't mention it to us. We never received anything - nothing from the rental car company, nothing from the country of France. Incidents like this are the only thing that my husband and I argue about and is the main reason that I hate driving in a foreign country with him. We try to avoid it at all costs because it just stresses us out too much.

By the way it was about $15 =/- to get from Paris to Mt Ste Michel, each way. (Probably more as we didn't pay for the first toll, lol)
Yes I neglected to get the transponder. That would have solved everything.
BTW - there were no gates - open road tolling
 

klpca

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Yes I neglected to get the transponder. That would have solved everything.
BTW - there were no gates - open road tolling
Even worse. It's hard enough on residents to figure out the rules since they are prone to change, but it's pretty awful if you are a tourist. Bummer about those fines.
 

dago

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They have the signs, if you miss the tolls. The EZ pass arm shouldn't go up unless you pay (you can pay in those lanes, just be prepared for a mom in a minivan with Michigan plates to be rolling her eyes, while she types on TUG)

edit : with open road tolling, it is easier to miss - but still does have signs.
Yeah there probably were signs, but I missed them. It's really not a valid defense on my part. I'm sure that's why the Illinois tollway didn't buy my explanation.. Lesson learned.
 

rapmarks

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I had the responder for ten years. Then I got a letter that I needed to return the responder and get a new one. That was last July. At that point, I had stopped driving thru Illinois, but I was planning on a trip over Labor Day. I ended up returning by mail and taking Amtrak to Illinois.
 

Talent312

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At our first toll booth outside of Paris, as the navigator I told my husband to go to the lane that showed "nickles and dollars" meaning the lane that showed coins and paper bills...

We drove out of Paris to the Loire Valley. This was pre-GPS.
But for the first hour, couldn't figure out how to get out of Paris.
We kept exiting too soon, circling back and starting over.

In one rental car, after the drive, we found the transponder in the glove box.
The rental agent said not to worry, the highway peep would know it was a rental.
.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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In Washington there are no toll booths. If you drive across a tolled bridge or in tolled lane, if you don't the Good2Go pass, you the toll will be collected by mail.
 

dago

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In Washington there are no toll booths. If you drive across a tolled bridge or in tolled lane, if you don't the Good2Go pass, you the toll will be collected by mail.
I kinda thought that's how it was pretty much everywhere. Apparently, Illinois needs the additional income LOL. Always glad to help out their economy.

My gripe about this whole thing is the fines. I thought they were excessive.
 

Miss Marty

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ILLINOIS TOLLWAY

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the region, the Illinois Tollway will temporarily implement all-electronic tolling as a precaution to limit the potential spread of coronavirus to customers, as well as Tollway employees.

All Illinois Tollway roadways will remain open to traffic;
(however, over the next 24 hours toll booths at mainline toll plazas will be taken offline, and automatic toll payment machines at ramp and mainline toll plazas will be deactivated).

The Tollway’s maintenance staff, incident management
personnel and HELP truck drivers will remain on duty.

During this time, grace period tolling will be extended and violations will be held through the duration of these toll plaza service interruptions.

Toll collection will be entirely handled via I-PASS, E-ZPass and through the Tollway’s online payment portal. I-PASS and E-ZPass customers will see no impact to their day-to-day travel.


 

dago

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ILLINOIS TOLLWAY

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the region, the Illinois Tollway will temporarily implement all-electronic tolling as a precaution to limit the potential spread of coronavirus to customers, as well as Tollway employees.

All Illinois Tollway roadways will remain open to traffic;
(however, over the next 24 hours toll booths at mainline toll plazas will be taken offline, and automatic toll payment machines at ramp and mainline toll plazas will be deactivated).

The Tollway’s maintenance staff, incident management
personnel and HELP truck drivers will remain on duty.

During this time, grace period tolling will be extended and violations will be held through the duration of these toll plaza service interruptions.

Toll collection will be entirely handled via I-PASS, E-ZPass and through the Tollway’s online payment portal. I-PASS and E-ZPass customers will see no impact to their day-to-day travel.


Big deal - the fines are still excessive
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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I kinda thought that's how it was pretty much everywhere. Apparently, Illinois needs the additional income LOL. Always glad to help out their economy.

My gripe about this whole thing is the fines. I thought they were excessive.
They don't fine you. But they do impose a significant surcharge for pay-by-amil.
 

Brett

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ILLINOIS TOLLWAY

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the region, the Illinois Tollway will temporarily implement all-electronic tolling as a precaution to limit the potential spread of coronavirus to customers, as well as Tollway employees.

All Illinois Tollway roadways will remain open to traffic;
(however, over the next 24 hours toll booths at mainline toll plazas will be taken offline, and automatic toll payment machines at ramp and mainline toll plazas will be deactivated).

The Tollway’s maintenance staff, incident management
personnel and HELP truck drivers will remain on duty.

During this time, grace period tolling will be extended and violations will be held through the duration of these toll plaza service interruptions.

Toll collection will be entirely handled via I-PASS, E-ZPass and through the Tollway’s online payment portal. I-PASS and E-ZPass customers will see no impact to their day-to-day travel.



I wish Florida would go all EZ pass for tolls
 
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