For Whom the Toll Tolls - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
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For Whom the Toll Tolls



    Fed-up with the latest fare increase by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, commuter Kevin O’Malley of Tinley Park has posted an online petition to protest the higher rates.

    In August, the authority voted to raise fares from 40 cents to 75 cents for I-PASS users, and from 80 cents to $1.50 for cash customers. Never mind that, as Ward Room has pointed out, the tollways were supposed to have been paid off by 1980. As it turned, they created suburbs that, in turn, created the need for more tollways, and they became an irresistible source of patronage for the DuPage County Republican Party.

    Here’s what O’Malley has to say about that.

    Everyday, thousands of people travel the IL tollway paying an already high fare. Now Illinois wants to increase the fair [sic] by 87%. This would put my roundtrip daily commute at $6.60. I have the fortunate benefit of expensing the majority of my toll charges. However, what about the thousands of people that do not? There are too many employed, hard working citizens that depend on the tollway to travel to their jobs on a daily basis.
    The CTA encourages and advertises to take public transportation because it is cheaper and greener and they will also be increasing fairs [sic]. Along with Metra fares and commuter parking increases, the daily commuter is at a disadvantage. Many commuters take highways and tollways for the benefit of improved fuel economy but now it will be offset by toll fee increases. Commuters are already dealing with the increases in fuel and now they will face a nearly doubled toll increase.
    As the state's budget continues to spiral out of control the everyday working man/woman is the one that has to pick up the bill. I ask everyone to consider how much you spend weekly, monthly, annually on toll fares. Then ask yourself if all those tolls are necessary.

    With this toll increase, suburbanites such as O’Malley are finally facing the same financial calculation city-dwellers have faced forever. They are realizing it’s cheaper to take public transportation than to drive.

    If enough of them make that choice, maybe we won’t need tollways anymore. 

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