Chicago Skyway Tolls Going Up January 1st

On January 1st, drivers who use the Chicago Skyway toll road will be paying more to use the 7.8 mile length of tollway.

Toll rates will rise 50 cents from the current $3.50 to $4.00.

According to a report from Fox News citing the Federal Highway Administration, the Skyway was already the costliest interstate toll road in the U.S. averaging $.46 cents per mile. The rate increase will bump that up to $.51 per mile.

The City of Chicago leased the Skyway, which links the Dan Ryan to the Indiana Toll Road, to a private investment group in 2005 for 99 years and $1.83 billion dollars.

According to Michael S. Lowrey, spokesperson for the Skyway Concession Company, rate increases were part of the original agreement and more increases to ride the Skyway are on the horizon.

“The Chicago Skyway Concession and Lease Agreement contains a schedule that sets forth both the maximum tolls rates and the dates that toll rates may be adjusted,” said Lowrey. “The previous increase was January 1, 2011. The next scheduled changes will take place on January 1, 2013, January 1, 2015, and January 1, 2017.”

In 2011, the rate increased from $3.00 to $3.50 per trip. The rate will again rise in two years as much as 50 cents and another 50 cents four years from now. This could bring the toll rate to $5.00 by 2017.

But the new rate won’t be deterring at least one driver who use it to commute from her job in Chicago to her home in Indiana. While Patricia Maldanado who lives in Hammond, takes I-94 to work in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood in the morning, she always returns using the Skyway due to rush hour traffic.

“Because of the traffic it saves me at least a half hour,” explains Maldanado. “For me it’s worth the $4 not to be stuck in traffic.”

Photo copyright and courtesy of The Two Dimension Collection.

7 Responses to Chicago Skyway Tolls Going Up January 1st

  1. .Q says:

    Fox News Failure. The Skyway is not an interstate, it is an interstate access road.

  2. Pete says:

    Isn’t privatization awesome! Just wait until Rahm sells off the water system and our water bills go up every year!

  3. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Q-

    I honestly don’t understand the distinction. Can you elaborate on the difference between interstate and interstate access road? Is the Skyway unique in this way? Or are there other such access roads around the country?

  4. KevinG says:

    Geek,
    The skyway is an interesting (and possibly unique) case. As you may know, it was planned before the rest of the interstate system as a Chicago to Indiana short cut. There are two things of interest to note about the skyway.

    1: The city of Chicago cannot (by charter) build a toll road. Therefore, legally speaking, the skyway is not a toll _road_ but rather a toll _bridge_ with a 7 mile approach. (not relevant, I just think this is cool)

    2: Is the skyway an interstate, or is it an ‘interstate access road’? Well, it depends on who you ask. In 1999, the city determined that the skyway was never formally designated as a part of I-90 (this would be a paperwork thing). This was when they replaced the I-90 signage with TO I-90 signs. This is what Q is referring to. However, both the state of Illinois (IDOT) and federal government (FHWA) consider the skyway to be fully included as I-90.

    Personally, I’m inclined to go with the agencies which actually designate interstate highways (specifically, FHWA).

  5. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Kevin,

    Your explanation is very intriguing. I had no idea.

    A 7-mile approach to a toll bridge–HAH!–how utterly Chicago.

    Kevin, what’s your background? You seem to know a lot about this kind of stuff.

  6. Singh says:

    Wouldn’t a privatization road/highway be a beneficial business idea? Selling for that much I think it’s possibility!

  7. Singh says:

    Wouldn’t a privatization road/highway be a beneficial business idea? Selling for that much I think it’s possibility! If someone knows please email me: dilshad40@hotmail.com

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