Group pushes for end to tolls
An Illinois group called No Tolls, Inc., is working for passage of House Bill 3171. The measure would remove the toll booths from state tollways within 12 years without boosting tolls.
Gov. George Ryan has proposed making the tollways into freeways by the year 2021, but he wants to nearly double the toll charges in the process.
If we couldnt trust our governor and our state senators and representatives 17 years ago when the tollway system was to become a freeway, how will we be able to trust them 20 years from now? said Russell Johnson, a spokesman for the group.
No Tolls points out the Tollway Authority has enjoyed a surplus of $30-$45 million each year. In addition, the state gets more than $50 million annually from the federal government for repair and replacement of toll roads. The money is spent for other purposes.
A few other facts: Annual operating revenue for the toll authority is $937,000 per day; 43 cents of every dollar collected is paid out just to collect the tolls; the authority collects $1.2 million annually per mile of highway.
Truckers pay among the highest fuel taxes and fees in the country to use our toll roads. The money goes into the general fund and is used as the governor and legislature please. The cost to drivers in lost time and wasted fuel comes to at least $78.3 million per year.
No Tolls can be contacted at P.O. Box 341, Sugar Grove, IL 60554. Their website is www. notolls.org.