On January 8, toll prices rose in Pennsylvania. According to recent announcements from the Turnpike Commission, E-ZPass users can expect a 5% increase while Toll-by-Plate customers are looking at an even higher jump. The most extensive charge is for truckers with five axles and weighing between 62K and 80K who use E-Zpass: they can now expect to pay $315.30, up from $300.10, while truckers without an E-ZPass will now pay $634.50, an increase from the previous $604.10.
The news release claimed that the 5% toll increase is needed to meet the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s funding and capital improvement obligations, as the commission does not receive tax appropriations to maintain and operate its roadway. The turnpike’s commitment to safety, quality, and rideability is clear as they often outpace national roadway standards in these areas.
For fifteen years, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has transferred an astounding $7.9 billion to PennDOT for highway and transit needs under Act 44 of 2007 – a funding obligation that was recently reduced from $450 million to only $50 million per year come 2022. Now with its ambitious new plan in place, this toll road is aiming high once more: driving down debt while maintaining annual 5% increases until 2025 followed by 3% upswings starting 2028 onward.
With toll revenues as its primary source of funding, this revenue is used to keep the road operating 24/7 along with taking care of necessary improvements. Planned renovations include the construction of new interchanges to expand the roadway from four to six lanes in size.
This year, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is introducing Act 112. This law allows the turnpike to work with PA DOT to suspend motor-vehicle registrations of drivers with four or more overdue Toll-by-Plate invoices or unpaid tolls exceeding $250 – significantly reducing requirements from prior legislation which mandated six past due payments and a debt over $500 for such suspensions.