Old tollway coin buckets on their way out
The Illinois tollway is introducing an innovation 1990s drivers digging frantically for change would have cheered.
Agency leaders approved a deal Thursday to replace the iconic buckets at toll booths with updated machines featuring touch screens that can accept credit cards or bills as well as coins.
The advent of I-PASS lanes cut into use of the traditional coin machine, but about 100 still exist. They are at least 20 years old and difficult to repair because parts are scarce, spokesman Dan Rozek said.
The new machines will cost about $76,000 each. The five-year contract is not to exceed $33 million and includes maintenance, service and the option to buy more machines, Rozek said.
The machines will be installed gradually on ramps, with the rollout finishing within one year of a contract being signed this spring with Colorado-based BIT Mobility Solutions, a subsidiary of Brisa Innovations in Portugal.
The old coin machines collect about $14 million a year.
Transactions at the new machines will be videotaped "to provide a record that could be used to resolve any customer payment issues," Rozek said.