Category Archives: I-Pass
Can’t afford to use your I-PASS anymore?
In most cases, these routes extend travel times–often increasing driving times significantly.
One Herald reader explains while one alternative route saves him on tolls, the extra expense on gas and wear and tear on his vehicle aren’t worth it, so he’s stuck with paying the more expensive tolls.
According to an informative piece in today’s Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Tollway Authority quietly unveiled this internet based option to contest tollway violations at the beginning of April. Previously, much like parking tickets, motorists only had two ways to fight back–by mail or at an in-person hearing.
The problem with an in-person tollway violation administrative hearing, there is only one, inconvenient location for hearings. Drivers have to travel all the way out to west suburban Downers Grove to fight a tollway ticket.
In Pyke’s recent In Transit column, she reports that an estimated 200,000 I-Pass units went dead in 2009 and more expected to kick the bucket in the near future. The Toll Authority thinks over 1.2 million units will go bye-bye in 2013.
It seems I-Pass units have only an 8 and half year life expectancy before the battery goes dead. The Illinois Toll Authority is going to start sending letters to drivers who first got their I-Pass in the late ’90s to warn them of the issue and give them a chance to exchange it for a new unit at either Jewel or a Tollway Oasis customer service center or at an Tollway Authority office.
If they don’t hear back from you, your unit may be deactivated.
The good news is, even though your unit may be dead, if your account is still active, the Toll Authority uses photos of your plate when it goes through tolls to debit your account. So it’s not like you’re getting fined because your unit is pushing up daisies.
Pyke suggests the next time you go through a toll, check the blue and yellow status lights. If they don’t light up, your unit may be DOA.
Here’s Pyke’s full column, “Tollway transponders in your vehicles don’t last forever.”
Thanks to Barnet for the tip.