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Indiana Toll Road pass peeves Illinois residents

April 27, 2007

Chicago south-siders are riled that the discounts they enjoy driving the Indiana Toll Road are scheduled to vanish in June, while discounts Indiana residents receive for driving on the Illinois leg of the highway will continue.

The General Assembly last year gave holders of Indiana’s I-Zoom passes a 40-percent discount until 2016 when it approved leasing toll road for $3.85 billion to Cintra-Macquarie, a Spanish Australian consortium. The state will make up the difference to Indiana drivers by paying extra to the consortium.

However, no such provision was made for Illinois drivers.

Drivers in Illinois can buy the I-Zoom pass because it works in both states, but the prospect isn’t settling well.

The Daily Southtown of the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park today quoted the chairman of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, John Mitola, as saying Hoosier drivers should be charged more to drive on the Chicago Skyline leg of the road. Cintra-Macquarie also leases the Chicago Skyline.

A Chicago Tribune editorial this week summarized sentiment across the border: “Indianans seem intent on picking a border fight with Illinoisans. Let’s make ’em pay.”

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