No more paying highway tolls with cash in Illinois

tolls
Tollway file image Photo credit Getty Images

When the pandemic began, Illinois tollways stopped accepting cash, and that's how it will be from now on.

In a carefully worded written statement Thursday, the Illinois Tollway noted 92% of tolls collected from drivers in 2019 came from I-PASS and EZ-Pass transponders, so the change will affect a small percentage of drivers.

Motorists without transponders still have the option of paying tolls on the tollway website within 14 days without penalty, though those tolls will remain higher than those collected from transponders, the tollway said.

Starting in May, the tollway also plans to make I-PASS transponders available without a deposit, and will add $20 to each transponder that goes to a qualified low-income driver.

As for toll collectors and others whose jobs centered on cash tolls, the tollway says they have been given opportunities to stay with the agency.

The change does not apply to the Chicago Skyway. That is not part of the state tollway system.