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Traveling the Pa. Turnpike will cost you more starting today (1/7/23)

by Staff

A toll increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that was announced in July 2023 will go into effect today, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission last increased tolls in January 2023, also by 5%.

E-ZPass car drivers will see an increase of about 10 cents.

According to the commission, “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. After the increase is applied, E-ZPass and Toll By Plate rates for passenger and commercial vehicles will round up to the nearest dime.”

“Our annual toll increases directly support the escalating Act 44 debt service we have had to manage due to the mandates of Act 44 of 2007,” said Rick Dreher, the commission’s chief financial officer.

“However, even given that significant financial management challenge, our per-mile toll rates are lower than national toll averages and remain in the mid-range among the 47 toll roads in the U.S.”

The commission said it is obligated to pay the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation “$450 million per year to fund non-Turnpike transportation needs around Pennsylvania totaling $8 billion since 2008. Though the payments have been greatly reduced, and no new Act 44 debt is being accrued the Turnpike must continue to raise tolls in order pay the resulting escalating Act 44 debt service due through 2051.”

In addition to toll increase, the Turnpike Commission said have taken” internal steps to control costs” that include efficient debt management by refinancing at lower interest rates, keeping operating costs flat since 2026, an almost 50% leaner work force, cuts to its capital projects and identifying non-toll funding sources such as electric-vehicle chargers at service plazas and commercializing the fiberoptic network being installed across the system.

“Our goal is to be good stewards of the customers’ dollars and we are doing so by controlling costs, operating a safe and reliable road with premium services, funding transportation projects across the Commonwealth (Act 44 projects) and reinvesting back into our system,” said Mark Compton, Turnpike CEO. “The pace and scale of our toll increases are directly attributable to Act 44.”

The commission said commercial traffic volume on the Turnpike is up 14.5% compared to pre-pandemic levels and passenger traffic is up 95% of the pre-pandemic peak.

The Pa. Turnpike is in the process of implementing All-Electronic Tolling by installing an electronic cashless overhead system that drivers pass under at highway speed with no need to slow down and pass through a booth.

The first portion of Open Road Tolling is expected to go live in 2025.

Drivers can find out how much trips on the Turnpike will cost by using the online toll calculator.

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