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PA Turnpike toll increase approved for 13th year in a row; new TOLL BY PLATE rates announced

WTAE Pittsburgh logo WTAE Pittsburgh 7/21/2020
a close up of a street sign on a pole: Pennsylvania Turnpike © Provided by WTAE Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Turnpike

Tolls are going up on the Pennsylvania Turnpike -- again.

Drivers will pay an extra 6%, starting on Jan. 3, 2021. The toll hike was approved Tuesday by the turnpike commission.

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The increase is for all E-ZPass rates systemwide and for PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE rates.

The TOLL BY PLATE rates had been established before a permanent conversion in June to All-Electronic Tolling (AET) at the following locations:

  • Beaver Valley Expressway (I-376)
  • Delaware River Bridge (NJ border)
  • Gateway Toll Plaza (Ohio border)
  • Greensburg Bypass (PA Turnpike 66)
  • Keyser Ave. and Clarkes Summit Tolls (Northeastern Extension)
  • Southern Beltway (PA Turnpike 576)

New TOLL BY PLATE rates have also been approved for all toll facilities converted to all-electronic tolling in June.

The new rates, which also take effect Jan. 3, include an average 45% increase over the 2020 cash rate for motorists using TOLL BY PLATE.

Officials said the increase reflects the cost of collections for this tolling method.

The new rate will not be applied at TOLL BY PLATE facilities converted before 2020.

With the PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE option, high-speed cameras capture license-plate images as vehicles pass by. The registered owner of the vehicle receives an invoice for trips made through the tolling point.

Upon receipt of a TOLL BY PLATE invoice, recipients have an option to open an E-ZPass account and pay the lower rate.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said it is exploring options to offer TOLL BY PLATE discounts to motorists through pre-registration options.

Tolls have increased every year since 2009. Turnpike officials say the annual hikes allow them to maintain and operate the Turnpike system.

“The primary driver of the annual toll-rate increases continues to be our quarterly transit payments to PennDOT and the resulting debt service that comes along with the legislatively mandated funding obligation,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “As a result, the PA Turnpike has delivered almost $7 billion in funding to PennDOT in the last decade, primarily to support mass-transit operations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.”

Compton said the turnpike commission says it is legislatively mandated to offer $440 million in funding to PennDOT each year under the terms of Act 44.

A trip calculator with current toll amounts is posted at www.paturnpike.com.

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READ THE FULL STORY:PA Turnpike toll increase approved for 13th year in a row; new TOLL BY PLATE rates announced

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