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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2004

I-PASS Sales at Jewel-Osco Top 100,000 in Less than Four Months
Record 30 Percent Increase in Year-Over-Year Sales Retail Sales Capturing Pent-Up Demand for I-PASS

DOWNERS GROVE –I-PASS sales at Jewel-Osco have reached the 100,000 mark less than four months after the Illinois Tollway launched its I-PASS retail initiative.  Purchasing I-PASS at nearly 200 Jewel-Osco stores has proven to be the most popular and easiest way for Tollway customers to get a transponder.  I-PASS sales have averaged over 500 transponders per day since Jewel-Osco began selling them at the start of the 2003 holiday season. 
 
“The I-PASS retail initiative is a great example of how the Tollway is following my reform mandate to improve service to its customers,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “We are making it easier to get I-PASS and, as a result, more Tollway customers are now spending less time commuting and more time with their families. We want to increase the use of I-PASS because it reduces congestion and gets traffic moving on our state’s roadways.”
 
Currently there are nearly 1.2 million transponders in use, which is a 30 percent increase over the same period a year ago.  Sales at Jewel and online at www.getipass.com are advancing the Tollway’s goal of increasing I-PASS use to reduce travel times systemwide. 
 
“Sales at Jewel-Osco account for 68 percent of all transponders sold,” said Tollway Executive Director Jack Hartman. “We knew I-PASS usage would increase if we made it as easy as possible for people to get a transponder.  Now that you can buy an I-PASS while picking up your week’s supply of eggs and milk, we are indeed seeing a boost in I-PASS usage on the tollroads.”
 
In addition to selling transponders at Jewel-Osco customer service desks, the grocery store giant has also promoted sales of transponders through its newspaper ads, weekly flyers and in-store radio announcements. The value of these advertisements exceeds $150,000, which is another advantage of the Tollway’s Jewel-Osco partnership. The I-PASS transponders are sold at the stores’ customer service
desks for $50, which includes the $10 transponder deposit and $40 in pre-paid tolls; no additional mark-up is added by Jewel-Osco. 
 
As Gov. Blagojevich announced last August, the I-PASS Expansion project added 39 new I-PASS only lanes, which reduces congestion and travel times for all Tollway customers. The new lanes have provided a greater incentive for customers to buy an I-PASS, as evidenced by the 7 percent increase in I-PASS use. Revenues from I-PASS have grown 7 percent since February 2003, from 41 percent to 48 percent. Additionally, I-PASS rush-hour use has jumped from 45 percent to 52 percent of revenues during the same period.
 
I-PASS allows nearly 1.2 million Illinois Tollway customers to pay tolls without having to stop at mainline toll plazas and designated ramp locations.  Currently, 85 dedicated I-PASS Only lanes are available for I-PASS customers who can also use their transponders at all manual or automatic toll collection lanes. I-PASS reduces congestion for all Tollway customers.
 
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority maintains and operates 274 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the East-West Tollway (I-88), the North-South Tollway (I-355), the Northwest Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94, I-294, I-80/I-294). The Illinois Tollway offers customers I-PASS electronic toll collection for congestion relief and ease of travel.  To sign up for I-PASS go to www.illinoistollway.com, or you can now buy a transponder at Jewel-Osco. Get I-PASS and Get Going!


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