Illinois tollway might shift from transponders to window stickers

Chicago
By Chicago 2 Min Read

Now might be a good time to let your Illinois tollway transponder know how much you love it.

That’s because the agency could follow an industry trend shifting from hard-case transponders to stickers come 2024.

Tollway officials had no comment other than to say the issue will likely come up at a board meeting Thursday.

At an August finance committee session, planners told directors that they were excited about rolling out a sticker program next year, adding that it could provide significant financial benefits to the agency and customers.

The change isn’t surprising, transportation experts say.

California introduced stickers in 2019 and numerous states now offer them to drivers.

Why stickers?

“The advantage that the sticker tags offer as opposed to a hard-case tag is that they’re tremendously less expensive,” said Mark Muriello, director of policy and government affairs for the International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association.

As a result, “We’re slowly seeing agencies beginning to choose to adopt the sticker tag,” Muriello said.

The Orange County-based Transportation Corridor Agencies started using “FasTrak” stickers technology for its toll roads in 2019, media relations manager Michelle Kennedy said.

“Sticker transponders are smaller, sleeker and less obtrusive than the hard-case transponder with less visual impact on the customer’s vehicle,” she said.

“Sticker transponders use radio frequency identification, and there is no battery, which means no beep, and they last until you remove them from your vehicle.”

The U.S. has three major toll-collection protocols that include transponder and sticker technologies.

The Illinois tollway belongs to the E-ZPass group, a coalition of 20 states and more than 50 agencies that’s traditionally used transponders, although some members use stickers for local tolling.

E-ZPass Group Executive Director P.J. Wilkins told the Daily Herald that the organization was working rapidly on sticker technology to enable member agencies to use for interoperable tolling in 2024.

Read more at dailyherald.com.

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