WBEZ | Illinois Tollway Board http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-tollway-board Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois Tollway expects traffic to increase despite impending fee hike http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-tollway-expects-traffic-increase-despite-impending-fee-hike-92055 <p><p>&nbsp;*(Please see correction below)</p><p>The Illinois Tollway says traffic has increased on state tollways this year.</p><p>The agency collected four percent more in the first six months of 2011 compared to last year, despite the announcement of an 88 percent increase in fees last month. Starting at the beginning of next year, I-Pass rates will be raised from 40 cents to 75 cents, while drivers who use cash will pay $1.50. Executive Director Kristi Lafleur says she doesn't expect traffic to change much at the onset of the rate hikes, and that traffic will start to increase by 2013.</p><p>“We’re going to continue over the next months to make sure our customers are educated and know what’s happening,” said Lafleur, who spoke at the City Club on Thursday. “We know that these improvements are necessary and will deliver some improvements that will get people where they’re going faster, and ultimately that’s why people use the tollway.”</p><p>Lafleur says the revenue from the toll hike will help fund a $12 billion construction plan to build and repair state highways and bridges. Included in the plan are an Elgin-O’Hare expressway and the widening of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) between Rockford and O’Hare.</p><p><strong>Correction</strong>:</p><p><em>(A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Exeutive Director Kristi Lafleur doesn't expect a decrease in traffic at the onset of the rate hikes. A spokesperson for the Illinois Tollway says the agency has factored in a 2.6 percent decrease in traffic in the short term after the toll hike. The tollway says it expects traffic to eventually increase by 40 percent by the project's propsed end date in 2026 in part due to increased capacity.)</em></p></p> Thu, 15 Sep 2011 22:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-tollway-expects-traffic-increase-despite-impending-fee-hike-92055 Quinn defends tollway hikes http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-defends-tollway-hikes-91066 <p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is defending the state tollway board's decision to hike prices. He said the plan will help fund construction projects, reduce traffic times and keep drivers safe.<br> <br> "We have to invest in these roads in order to make sure they're safe--we don't want to be the shock absorber capital of the United States with all kinds of potholes, when people drive over the potholes and they're car gets broken down and they're not very happy I wouldn't be either," he said.<br> <br> Quinn said the extra funds will pay for projects like expanding the Jane Addams Tollway and connecting Interstates 294 and 57.<br> <br> The Tollway board voted yesterday 7-1 to increase the rates. Most I-Pass rates will see a spike from 40 cents to 75 cents, while drivers who pay cash will pay twice that amount. Quinn said county board chairmen from DuPage, Lake, Will and Kane counties, among others, came in front of the tollway board to support the raises.</p><p>The new toll prices will take effect on January 1st.</p></p> Thu, 25 Aug 2011 21:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-defends-tollway-hikes-91066 Gov. Quinn says toll hikes necessary for road projects http://www.wbez.org/story/gov-quinn-says-toll-hikes-necessary-road-projects-90198 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-05/Waukegan Toll Plaza_Flickr_HelveticaFanatic.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn spoke once again Friday about a proposed hike in tolls, but this time, he didn't hesitate to explain where he stands.</p><p>Instead, Quinn put forth an argument he feels Illinoisans should consider.</p><p>"I think it's important to understand that the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>, in 1983, cost 25 cents. It costs a buck today," said Quinn. "So there are higher costs to maintain our roads and tollways, and we have to deal with reality here."</p><p>As he did previously, Quinn also said he wants to hear from the public on the issue before firmly giving a stance. However, he said he does not want to raise the gas tax to pay for repairs on roads like the Jane Addams tollway.</p><p>"There are higher costs to maintain our roads and tollways, and we have to deal with reality here," said Quinn.</p><p>The Illinois Tollway says the plan is necessary to pay for a $12 billion project to repair and expand Chicago-area expressways. The Illinois Tollway Board is scheduled to vote on a plan at the end of August. If approved, the toll hikes would take effect starting next year.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 20:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gov-quinn-says-toll-hikes-necessary-road-projects-90198 Quinn won't take a stand on tollway hikes http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-wont-take-stand-tollway-hikes-89938 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100824_tarnold_731960_Illi_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn won't say whether he thinks the state tollway should increase rates.</p><p>The Illinois Tollway says the plan is necessary to pay for a $12 billion project to repair and expand Chicago-area expressways. When pressed by reporters, Quinn refused to take a stand on the issue.</p><p>"We're going to let the whole process take forward," said Quinn. "The Tollway has a board; they're going to have public hearings, and I think that's a healthy thing, to have the public have a chance to speak."</p><p>The <a href="http://www.illinoistollway.com/portal/page?_pageid=54,2980343&amp;_dad=portal&amp;_schema=PORTAL">Tollway Board</a> is scheduled to vote on a plan by August 25. If it passed, toll hikes would take effect starting next year.&nbsp;Officials said the proposed increase would probably be between 40 to 75 cents. &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 01 Aug 2011 21:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-wont-take-stand-tollway-hikes-89938