The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on July 21 approved a 6 percent toll increase for all E-ZPass rates systemwide and for toll-by-plate rates that were established before last month’s permanent conversion to all-electronic tolling at several locations.
The locations include: Beaver Valley Expressway (I-376); Delaware River Bridge (NJ border); Gateway Toll Plaza (Ohio border); Greensburg Bypass (PA Turnpike 66); Keyser Avenue and Clarkes Summit Tolls (Northeastern Extension); and Southern Beltway (PA Turnpike 576).
The increase will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 3, 2021.
“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.”
As part of its recent systemwide change in toll operations, the Commission also approved new toll by plate rates at toll facilities converted to all-electronic tolling in June. The new rates, which also take effect Jan. 3, 2021, include an average 45 percent increase over the 2020 cash rate for toll by plate motorists to reflect the costs of collections for this tolling method. The new rate will not be applied at the toll by plate facilities converted before 2020.
As a result, the most common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase from $1.50 to $1.60 for E-ZPass customers and from $2.50 to $3.90 for those choosing toll by plate. The most common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer will increase from $12.20 to $13 for E-ZPass and from $17.30 to $26.60 for PA Turnpike toll by plate customers.
With the PA Turnpike toll by plate option, high-speed cameras capture license-plate images as vehicles pass by. The registered owner receives an invoice for trips made through the tolling point. Invoices can be paid online, by phone or by mail. Recipients also have an option to open an E-ZPass account and pay the lower rate.
The PA Turnpike no longer accepts cash or credit cards after having permanently converted to all-electronic toll collection in June.