January 1 brought toll changes, mostly upward.
Tolls on roads run by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority jumped by as much as 300%
for some trucks on New Year’s Day. The amount of the increase will depend on the size of truck, the time of day and if whether or not it’s equipped with an I-PASS automated toll collection tag.
More increases are on the way for truckers. The new operator of the Chicago Skyway said it would raise toll rates to discourage semi-trailer drivers from traveling during peak times. Beginning Feb. 16, tolls will increase for vehicles with three or more axles from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. The new rates will vary from $5.10 for vehicles with three axles to $11.80 for seven or more axles. Those rates drop to $3.60 to $8.40 at other times of the day.
Meanwhile, an era passed in Germany, where Autobahns had always been free of tolls. As of Jan. 1, trucks using the highway system must be equipped with a satellite system that tracks their use of roadways and charges accounts accordingly.
"The system is operating flawlessly. The control points have detected 120 toll dodgers, that includes 75 foreigners. They will all be fined," German Transport Ministry spokeswoman Alexandra Brothan told the Reuters news service late Saturday.
The good news was on Ohio Turnpike where truck tolls declined between 25% and 57% for certain classes of trucks. Of course, truck tolls had risen by approximately 82% during the late 1990s. Ohio authorities lowered the tolls as part of a program to bring back truckers who had abandoned the toll road.