Tollway to scrap buckets, adopt touch screens

New touch screen toll machines on the Illinois Tollway are giving drivers the option to leave their coins at home.

The 20-year-old machines used to collect tolls on the Illinois Tollway are finally getting an upgrade, according to Dan Rozek, a spokesperson with the Illinois Tollway.

Rozek said the current machines are no longer in production, which makes it difficult to find spare parts when they need maintenance.

The new touch screen machine will accept debit and credit cards, paper bills and coins. Rozek said the new machines will cost $76,000 and they will provide better service for Tollway customers.

Taxpayers won’t be footing the bill for the upgraded machines. Rozek said the Illinois Tollway is user funded.

“We don’t receive state or federal funding for our maintenance operations so we are funded by the toll payers who use our system,” Rozek said.

Rozek said the Tollway and the drivers that use it will see benefits from the upgraded machines.

“The drivers benefit just because they are not going to need coins in their pocket or on their dashboard to pay at these exit and entrance ramps, which is where these machines will be installed. They will be able to use bills if they have it. Credit or debit cards if they want. It’s a benefit to everyone because essentially, this helps the tollway maintain the revenue it collects off of the old coin machines that don’t work very well and need to be replaced,” Rozek said.

Rozek said 10 new touch screen toll machines will initially be put in place as part of a pilot program and another 90 machines will follow that. 100 new toll machines will be at entrance and exit ramps on the Illinois Tollway around spring of 2018.

–Illinois News Network

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