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February 28th, 2008

Mystery Tollway

A few years back, Illinois started rehabbing all of its tollways. This included new oases (over-highway rest areas) and new toll plazas. Because it’s 2008 the state has devoted most of its new toll plazas to open road tolling, which means that if you have an I-Pass (same as EZ-Pass, really) you can breeze on through a big, wide open stretch of highway at full speed.

But I don’t have an I-Pass because I don’t use the tollway often, so I use the cash lanes… which now take you off the tollway altogether. This I don’t mind. What I do mind is the conversation in our car every time we approach a toll plaza.

Me: “Ah, here we go. Do you have some change ready?”

The Wife: “Yeah – how much is it?”

Me: “I don’t know!”

The reason? With one or two exceptions in the entire system, Illinois doesn’t post how much tolls cost ahead of the actual toll booth. You need to pull all the way up to the actual booth or coin drop and then read the sign affixed to it. And pricing isn’t consistent; it’s more expensive in outlying areas.

I realize that the Illinois Tollway wants everyone to use I-Pass, but seeing as cash users already pay double the tolls that I-Pass users do, I think they should treat us a little better. Just give us a sign, man!

Posted in Consumer Commentary

Merle March 6, 2008, 10:21 pm

So you might think you have enough change, pull up, and discover you do not? What happens then?

What is this then?

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