Another Chicago Expense to Become More Expensive

August 28, 2011

Chicago real estate owners just found out that their property tax bills are going up. Now comes word that when those owners leave home, it is soon going to cost them more to ride on the toll roads.

The Illinois Tollway board on Thursday approved a plan that will nearly double the fees motorists currently pay along the 286 miles of toll roads.

the tollway

Soon commuters are going to have to fish out more change to ride the Illinois tollways.

So, if you are an I-Pass user, your rate will increase from 40 cents to 75 cents. If you pay cash, your toll will jump from 80 cents to $1.50. The hike will start on January 1, 2012.

The increase in toll fees will help pay for a 15-year, $12.1-billion construction program that tollway officials say will provide much-needed improvements, will relieve congestion and will create thousands of jobs.

The toll hike is estimated to raise an additional $4.9 billion over the next 15 years. It could increase fees for the average commuter by $150 to $200 a year.

“We are confident that the vast majority of customers and communities we serve stand behind us in support of this 15-year investment in the Illinois Tollway’s future,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “Now is the time to move forward with these critical infrastructure improvements to provide congestion relief on the Tollway and coordination with the other transportation and transit agencies to do something new and innovative with an eye to the region’s future transportation needs.”

To find out more about the individual projects slated for the tollway-improvement project, visit

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Since we are on the subject of driving, and since we already covered this for the Chicago Cubs, Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks, this seems like a good time to introduce you to the new White Sox license plates.

The black plate with the Sox logo are available for pre-order and start at $69 for random plate numbers. Twenty-five dollars from each plate goes to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and the Common School Fund, which supports public schools throughout Illinois.

“We are thrilled that White Sox fans have another way to show their support for the team,” said Christine O’Reilly, senior director of community relations. “And in doing so, they can contribute to a great cause and help education programs in Illinois.”

To order your White Sox — or Cubs, or Bulls, or Bears, or Blackhawks — license plate, visit

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