CHICAGO – Following the Governor’s announcement earlier this month, I-PASS is now on sale at Jewel-Osco and is proving to be a popular item in shoppers’ grocery carts.
Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced the ground-breaking agreement between the Illinois Tollway and Jewel-Osco to sell I-PASS transponders at 188 area Jewel-Osco Stores, and about 1,300 new transponders were sold on Sunday, November 23 - the first day they were available.
This new initiative allows the Illinois Tollway to do more with less and to expand I-PASS sales by leveraging the reach of well-known retail stores. In addition to being available throughout northern Illinois, I-PASS is also on sale at the Jewel-Osco stores in Northwest Indiana and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Drivers who use I-PASS can spend less time in their cars and more time with their families. Making I-PASS available at Jewel-Osco is the type of customer service that is central to my reform agenda at the Illinois Tollway,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “We want to increase the use of I-PASS because it reduces congestion and gets traffic moving on our state’s busiest roadways.”
Jewel-Osco customers now can add an I-PASS transponder to their grocery-shopping list for themselves or as a holiday gift for others. The I-PASS transponders are sold for $50, which includes the $10 transponder deposit and $40 in pre-paid tolls; no additional mark-up by Jewel-Osco will be added. New I-PASS customers are required to call 1-800-926-6500 to register their personal vehicle information and to activate the new account.
“I-PASS makes a great holiday gift for friends and family,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Jack Hartman. “Our new agreement with Jewel-Osco makes getting I-PASS as easy as using I-PASS.”
I-PASS allows more than 1 million Illinois Tollway customers to pay tolls without having to stop at mainline toll plazas and designated ramp locations. Currently, 84 dedicated I-PASS Only lanes are available for I-PASS customers who also can use their transponders at all manual or automatic toll collection lanes, which reduces congestion for all Tollway customers.
In August, Gov. Blagojevich announced the I-PASS Expansion Program, which will allow drivers to further reduce their travel times through the addition of 37 new I-PASS only lanes at 22 locations system-wide by spring of next year. Currently, 34 of these new lanes are complete and one additional lane will be completed by year’s end.
“At Jewel-Osco, our focus is always on finding ways to make life easier for our customers,” said Pete Van Helden, president of Jewel-Osco. “Through this partnership with the Illinois Tollway that allows for the sale of I-PASS transponders in 188 of our stores, we have developed yet another time-saving measure for our customers that lets them do their grocery shopping and purchase a transponder at one convenient location.”
Jewel-Osco is the only Midwest retailer operating both combination food and drug stores and freestanding drug stores. Of the retailer’s 288 locations, 203 are combination Jewel-Osco stores and 82 are freestanding Osco drug stores. Jewel Express Fuel Centers are located at 19 Jewel-Osco locations. Jewel-Osco is the Midwest Division of Albertson's Inc., which is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Albertson's is one of the world's largest food-drug chains and currently operates approximately 2,300 stores in 31 states.
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!