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Turnpike tolls to increase in 2019

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For the eleventh year in a row, Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls will go up come January.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced this week new toll amounts that will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on January 6, 2019. 

According to a release from the commission, the most common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase from $1.30 to $1.38 for E-ZPass customers and from $2.10 to $2.25 for cash customers. 

The most common toll for a Class-5 tractor-trailer will increase from $3.45 to $3.66 for E-ZPass customers and from $15.35 to $16.30 for cash customers.

The toll hike will apply to all Turnpike sections and extensions, including the westbound Delaware River Bridge cashless tolling point in Bucks County, where tolls have not changed since 2016, the release said. The toll at this point will increase from $5 to $5.30 for E-ZPass customers and from $6.75 to $7.20 for drivers without an E-ZPass.

The Turnpike Commission has increased tolls annually since 2009 as the result of a 2007 state law known as Act 44. Under Act 44, the commission has delivered $6.1 billion from toll funds to PennDOT over the past 11 years, said Mark Compton, CEO of the commission. Since 2010, the commission has transferred $450 million annually to PennDOT as part of this legal obligation.

Higher tolls will also help with maintenance and improvement of the 552-mile Turnpike.

"Part of our tollway will soon turn 78 years old, and we owe it to toll-paying customers to continue to invest in our road to make it safer, smoother and wider," Compton said. "This year, about 84 percent of our $552 million capital budget is focused on renewing, rebuilding and widening our highway system." 

Compton added that the Turnpike carried more than 200 million vehicles in 2017.

The Turnpike Commission does not receive tax appropriations to operate and maintain its roadway.

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Becca Oken-Tatum

Becca Oken-Tatum

Becca Oken-Tatum is the web editor for the Central Penn Business Journal. She also coordinates and writes for CPBJ's monthly Young Professionals e-newsletter. Email her questions, comments and tips at btatum@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter at @becca0t.

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