Tolls on Pennsylvania Turnpike to increase by 6% on Jan. 5
Like clockwork, tolls in the Keystone State will go up another 6% at the beginning of the year.
In July, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved the 6% increase in tolls, which is slated to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 5. The increase affects both E-ZPass and cash customers. This is the 12th consecutive year of toll hikes on the turnpike.
Only three western highways are exempt from the 2020 increase: PA Turnpike 376, (Beaver Valley Expressway); PA Turnpike 66 (Greensburg Bypass or Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass); and the Gateway tolling point (milepost 2 near Ohio on I-76). These locations had toll increases on Oct. 27, 2019.
According to a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission news release, the most common toll for vehicles weighing 30,001-45,000 pounds will increase from $3.70 to $4 for E-ZPass and from $16.30 to $17.30 for cash customers.
A 2020 trip calculator and toll schedule is available online at PATurnpike.com/toll/TollMileage.aspx.
“Due to this onerous funding requirement, nearly half of the PA Turnpike’s FY 2020 toll revenue will go to pay debt service alone,” Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said in a statement. “Anticipated toll revenue is estimated at $1.4 billion for the fiscal year, and our debt-service payments are roughly $700 million for the year.”
The toll increases are required to meet escalating debt-service costs associated with Act 44/Act 89 contributions to the Commonwealth for transit operations and funding for the commission’s 10-year capital program.
In November, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced plans to transition to cashless all-electronic tolling across the entire turnpike by sometime in 2021.
Operation costs will likely not change much in the near future. In a news release, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said that commissioners “remain committed to no layoffs prior to Jan. 1, 2022.”
“As we move toward all-electronic tolling, we will continue to do all we can to help transition impacted employees – whether that means moving to another position here at the PTC or one elsewhere,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton said in a statement. LL