I-Pass My @$$

A year or two ago, I bought an I-pass for a couple reasons. First, I was tired of having to stop and wait in a line of cars at the tollbooths. Second, I never really knew when I was going to be on a tollway, so I never had enough change available when the time came.
I-pass solves all these problems. Now, I fly through those toll plazas without a care. No stopping is necessary; no worrying about how much change I have is necessary.
So naturally, I was caught completely unprepared yesterday when I encountered the Antiquated Toll Plaza from Three Decades Ago. I decided to take the Skyway (I-90) on my way to visit family in Michigan. I figured it would be faster since it was a bit more direct than taking I-94 all the way down to I-80. Even the traffic signs said “no delays expected.” Great.
Now I understand it’s a toll road. No problem. I’ve never really taken the Skyway out of Chicago before, but I figured what could go wrong, right? I have I-pass, and enough money to handle the eighty cents worth of tolls once I get to Indiana.
Then I arrived at the Illinois-Indiana Border toll booth. I immediately moved into the far left lane, where I expected the I-pass lane to be, except there is no I-pass lane. Instead, there was a long line of cars in what was otherwise very light traffic, all waiting for two manned booths. I was still in Illinois. As far as I knew, this was still 2004.
Holy crap, what happens here during rush hour?
So what happened? I ended up using all my change to pay an outrageous two dollar toll. Two dollars! Whatever. I don’t care about that; tolls are worse in other states. It wouldn’t be a problem, except once you get into Indiana, there’s another toll booth less than a mile from the Illinois booth. At this point, I had no change left, so I made sure to go into a lane that has a manned booth. When I got there, the booth was empty. To sum up, I ended up spending way more time than I would have taking I-94 for free.
Now, Indiana, I’m sure you think you’re pretty clever that you put booths in all your lanes at the toll stop, but get a clue. I can’t see whether you have a person in there or not until it’s too late. Clearly mark your booths, damn it.
And Illinois, I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS. I bought an I-pass so this wouldn’t happen, you bureaucratic dingleberries. What is the point of having it if I’m still going to encounter booths that don’t recognize it? You probably figure it doesn’t matter, because everyone using that booth will have to stop for the Indiana tolls anyway, right? However, if that booth had I-pass, I wouldn’t have been caught unprepared at the Indiana booth. Plus, I-90 would have served its purpose of being faster than I-94. None of this would have been an issue. I relied on that stupid I-pass, Illinois, and you let me down.
And another thing: If the tolls do get doubled for everyone except I-pass users, as I hear is being proposed, what does that mean for this particular booth? Huh? HUH? FOUR FREAKING DOLLARS? See, you can pretty much shoot down anyone’s complaints by saying, “just get an I-pass,” but not for this booth. What am I supposed to do, point to the box in my windshield and demand a lower toll? I don’t think so.
As long as I’m making all these unreasonable demands, I also demand that Indiana get on board with the I-pass. It starts with the same letter, damn it. Get with the program.

2 Comments so far

  1. Michael (unregistered) on September 7th, 2004 @ 10:08 am

    I’m surprised that you didn’t know this – The Chicago Skyway actually belongs to Chicago and not to the Illinois Tollway Authority. At least, for now. I remember hearing discussions about having it transferred to the Tollway Authority, but I’m not sure how that matches-up with Blogo’s idea.
    I have the same issue, I just know now that it’s $2.00, then 50-cents, then 30 cents to get to I-94.
    I have also heard of possibly changing the I-PASS hardware, so that the transponders that are used could be used with other state’s collection systems, in which case if the hardware matches Indiana’s, then you’d be clean all the way to I-94.
    In Theory.

  2. Velez (unregistered) on June 24th, 2005 @ 1:13 pm


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