July 1 marks the beginning of new toll rates on the Indiana Toll Road, a part of I-90 through northern Indiana, as officials raise the price of admission by 9%. The increase covers all classes, with Class 2 passenger vehicles going up from $12.28 to $13.50 for the end-to-end run down the tollway. Class 5, your typical 5-axle tractor-trailer, goes up from $66.30 to $72.88.
The Indiana Toll Road is officially the Indiana East–West Toll Road. It is a tolled highway that runs for 156.28 miles east–west across northern Indiana from the Illinois state line to the Ohio state line.
The Indiana Toll Road Concession Company LLC ( ITRCC), the operating authority for the toll road, is a subsidiary of IFM Investors. ITRCC assumed responsibility for the toll road on June 30, 2006 from the Indiana Department of Transportation with a 75-year lease. It was part of Governor Mitch Daniels “Major Moves” legislation enacted by the Indiana General Assembly in 2005.
People don’t want to pay the fare sometimes
Unfortunately in September 2014, ITRCC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a debt of $6 billion. IFM Investors moved in and acquired ITRCC, along with the remaining 66 years on the lease. It now manages the tollway and has rights to collect toll fares. IFM Investors invests on behalf of over 550 institutions worldwide.
Being a truck driver for over 15 years, I know many trucking companies avoid the toll road (and any toll road, if possible). The enterprise carriers I worked for would rather send their trucks across US 20, US 6 or US 12 in Michigan than pay the toll. Owner-operators, on the other hand, can pass the tolls on as part of their rate contract. Personally, I’d rather take the toll road due to the availability of parking. Get there before sundown and nine out of 10 times you can get a decent spot in the parking grid.
With inflation settling in on building and maintenance material prices, I can see that the rates might have needed to be increased. But will the toll road get enough traffic to generate the revenue needed?