Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have been steadily increasing every year for nearly 20 years.
And, this year is no exception.
On Jan. 7, tolls for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers on the Pa. Turnpike will increase by five-percent will take effect.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved the move back in July.
“As in previous years, the PTC is obligated to raise rates annually as part of its legislative mandate to provide PennDOT supplemental funding for transit systems around the state as outlined by Act 44 of 2007,” said Mark Compton, head of the commission said in a statement.
Officials said that the most-common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase next year from $1.80 to $1.90 for E-ZPass customers and from $4.40 to $4.70 for Toll By Plate customers.
The most-common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer will increase from $14.40 to $15.20 for E-ZPass and from $29.40 to $30.90 for Toll By Plate, officials said.
And, after the increase is applied, E-ZPass and Toll By Plate rates for passenger and commercial vehicles will round up to the nearest dime.
Officials with the turnpike commission said that, due to the Act-44 funding plan, the PTC is obligated to increase tolls annually through at least 2053.
“We recognize that our customers pay a premium when they choose to travel on the PA Turnpike,” Compton said in a statement. “In return, we endeavor to provide a dependable, premium experience that gets our customers safely to their destinations in a timely fashion.”
In a statement on the toll rate hike, Compton argued that, despite ongoing toll increases, the Pa. Turnpike’s per-mile passenger rate continues to be below the national average when compared with other U.S. tolling agencies.
Among 47 toll road, bridge, and tunnel operators in the U.S., the PA Turnpike’s E-ZPass passenger rate of 15 cents per mile is nearly 20-percent below the national average of 18 cents, turnpike officials claimed.
Officials also claim the Pa. Turnpike’s E-ZPass commercial rate of 55 cents per mile is 12-percent below the national average of 62 cents per mile.
“Despite having to raise tolls every year for the past 15 years, the PA Turnpike is still less expensive than the national average,” Compton said in a statement.