Chesterton Tribune

Toll Road rates to rise for most users in July

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ELKHART, Ind. (AP) Drivers on the Indiana Toll Road could pay more to travel the 157-mile roadway starting July 1, when the road's private manager implements the first of what will be annual fee increases under its lease agreement with the state.

The Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. plans to adjust tolls annually to protect users from "massive one-time toll increases," spokeswoman Amber Kettring told The Elkhart Truth.

The new rate to travel the entire roadway isn't yet official but is expected to rise from $8.80 to $9 or slightly more under the formula outlined in the lease agreement, the newspaper reported.

Those using passenger cars who pay tolls electronically through I-Zoom transponders will not see any change to their $4.65 rate until at least 2016, when the lease allows for an increase. The state currently subsidizes the lower rate and pays the road manager the difference, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said.

Wingfield said the state has paid out $45.9 million so far to cover the difference. All of that money has come from the $3.8 billion Indiana received in 2006 when it leased the toll road to a private Spanish-Australian consortium for 75 years.

The consortium, which formed ITR Concession, will collect all of the highway's toll revenue over the term of the lease.

Kettring said the subsidy is designed to promote electronic tolling, now used by 66 percent to 70 percent of Class 2 motorists, which includes passenger cars.

This year's increase follows a rise in the cash rate from $4.65 to $8 in 2008 and another increase to $8.80 last July.

 

 

Posted 4/4/2011

 

 

 

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