Tollway shifting to stickers in January, transponders will still work


The Illinois tollway will switch to a sticker system to collect tolls instead of transponders in January.

At a Thursday meeting, officials explained the stickers would be much cheaper than the current hard-case transponders.

Currently transponders require a $10 deposit, which administrators said has been a barrier for some I-PASS customers.

“We’re excited to launch this,” Director Cassaundra Rouse said, adding “there is no deposit cost on the sticker tag. You can get as many as you need for the cars in your household.”

Officials noted, however, that existing transponders will still work and drivers can keep using them until they expire.

Benefits include, “the sticker tag can be activated in minutes,” Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Donoghue said. “You acquire the tag, link it to your I-PASS account … and then you drive.

“There are no additional costs to customers other than the tolls themselves.”

One important difference, however, is that once the sticker is placed on your windshield, it needs to stay there. If a sticker is peeled off, it will stop working, Chief of Business Systems Michael Catolico explained.

Effective Jan. 1, customers will be able to request new stickers online, at customer service centers at tollway headquarters or oases, as well as Jewel stores.



The agency will be partnering with car dealerships and auto glass repair shops to distribute stickers.

The $10 deposit on transponders by I-PASS customers will be transferred over to sticker tag accounts once a change is made, Rouse said.

Drivers who exchange their transponders will receive instructions on how to properly dispose of the devices, which have batteries.

More information on the transition and obtaining stickers will be on the tollway’s website in the coming weeks.

Numerous other states are using sticker technology.

In California, the Orange County-based Transportation Corridor Agencies started using “FasTrak” stickers technology for its toll roads in 2019, media relations manager Michelle Kennedy told the Daily Herald.

“Sticker transponders use radio frequency identification (RFID) and there is no battery,” she said, “and they last until you remove them from your vehicle.”



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