Inside the Tollway
Since the Illinois Tollway in June launched TOLLING 2020, a comprehensive tolling relief program, thousands of drivers have taken advantage of the changes to save nearly $50 million by settling their unpaid toll violations at drastically reduced rates.
Through mid-September, Tollway customers had cleared more than 86,000 outstanding toll violation notices making it the most successful relief package in the Tollway’s history.
An update presented to the Tollway’s Board of Directors at its September meeting outlined the scope and success of the program, which also included a new invoice process and COVID-19 relief in addition to the violation relief for drivers with outstanding toll violations.
Through the end of 2020, the Tollway reduced all outstanding $20 and $50 fines per toll will to $3 per toll, providing an opportunity for thousands of drivers to obtain relief.
In the first 60 days following the launch, the Tollway cleared about 65,000 outstanding violation notices--about 7 times the number cleared in a 2009 amnesty program and nearly 6 times as many notices as were resolved during a 2005 amnesty. The Tollway in September was continuing to average about 8,000 payments weekly, with the average payment being about $60.
The total savings to customers in reduced fines so far amounts to almost $50 million, and thanks to ongoing messaging and outreach efforts customers are continuing to realize savings.
A separate provision in this reform package allows drivers who accrued unpaid tolls at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak to avoid any fines and simply pay their missed tolls and a 1-cent invoicing fee. The Tollway invoiced about 4.7 million tolls accrued between March 9 and June 25, when the Tollway first switched to all-electronic tolling and closed cash lanes as a safety measure for customers and workers.
Also, moving forward as part of the reforms, customers are now are mailed an invoice with a $3 fee per unpaid toll for passenger vehicles, a cost reduction of about 85 percent from the initial $20 violation previously charged.
And as always, all fees can be avoided by paying online within 14 days of the violation.
Customers with outstanding toll violation notices should pay their balances by the end of the year to take full advantage of the financial savings offered by the reforms.