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Transponders only on new I-390

June 17, 2016
When it begins charging tolls on July 5, the new segment of the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway in DuPage County will be the first tollway in Illinois without human collectors or buckets to accept money. 
The new roadway, dubbed I-390, will charge 20 cents a mile between I-290 and the road’s western terminus at Lake Street in Roselle. Drivers without transponders who do venture onto Route 390 will pay double what I-PASS owners do. The cash rate to travel 6.5 miles from Lake Street to I-290 on the all-electronic road will be $2.50, compared to $1.25 for people with transponders.
Adding to their underdog status, cash customers will have to pay by mail or online to avoid penalties.
For its part, the Illinois tollway hopes drivers will embrace the improved Elgin-O’Hare. Upgrades, such as a new interchange at I-290 instead of the old signalized intersection, provide a rationale for its metamorphosis into a toll road, which required federal approval.
The percentage of drivers sans I-PASSes is estimated to be relatively small, tollway spokesman Dan Rozek said.
"Our surveys have shown that 90 percent of drivers currently traveling in the Elgin-O’Hare corridor have I-PASS, and of those without I-PASS, nearly one-quarter indicated that they would obtain one to use the new roadway once it opens," he said.
The ongoing eastern extension of Route 390 from I-290 to Route 83 wraps up in 2017, and the roadway eventually will lead to the airport.
The tollway is giving the I-PASS-free crowd a 30-day window to pay missed tolls on I-390 after collection goes live. Then it will revert to seven days to pay.