The Illinois Tollway is a state agency set up to construct, operate and maintain a network of 292 miles of tollways in 13 counties in Northern Illinois, including five major routes:
- Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-39/I-90/US 51)
- Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355)
- Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway/Chicago–Kansas City Expressway (I-88/IL 56/IL 110)
- Tri-State Tollway (I-41/I-80/I-94/I-294/US 41)
- Elgin-O’Hare Tollway (IL 390)
Since construction, the toll lanes had a mixture of Electronic Toll Collection (ECT) using a transponder or tag, manned and semi-automatic cash lanes. In Early 2017, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) awarded the contract worth $33.2m to A-to-Be for the provision of ATPM (Automatic Toll Payment Machines) at up to 270 toll lanes across the Illinois tollway network. The new ATPMs replaced legacy “coins in the basket” toll lane equipment and provide multiple methods of card and cash payments.
When A-to-Be was designing the winning solution the emphasis was on inclusion from every aspect; there had to be support for EMV contact and contactless cards as well as magstripe, coins and banknotes. The ATPMs also had to be “double-decked” with complete duplication of facilities to suit high and low vehicles.
The payment had to have harsh-environment capability since they would be expected to operate in the extremes of Chicago weather. The payment processing service also needed to be fast and ultra-reliable, so as not to cause delay to drivers, and embody industry-standard data encryption to assure security. Finally, the credit card readers had to be certified with the Illinois Tollway’s designated processor.