The New Year is cruising in with new costs along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
At 12:01 a.m. January 5th tolls increase by 6% for cash, E-ZPass and TOLL BY PLATE customers.
Turnpike officials said the most common toll for a passenger vehicle going one exit will increase from $1.40 to $1.50 for E-ZPass customers and from $2.30 to $2.50 for cash customers. They add, the most common toll for a Class-5 tractor-trailer going one exit will increase from $3.70 to $4.00 for E-ZPass and from $16.30 to $17.30 for cash.
The cashless toll at the westbound Delaware River Bridge will increase from $5.30 to $5.70 for E-ZPass customers and from $7.20 to $7.70 for those who use PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE, turnpike officials said.
The increase was approved last July.
Turnpike spokesperson Carl Defebo said the increases are happening for two reasons. First, the Turnpike has a funding obligation to PennDOT.
"The Turnpike Commission has a funding obligation to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the tune of $450 million we provide to PennDOT each year that's used for transit across Pennsylvania, primarily in Philly and Pittsburgh," said Defebo.
The funding obligation is required by Act 44 of 2009. The Turnpike notes it has delivered more than $6 billion in funding to PennDOT in the last decade.
Defebo said tolls are also used to make improvements on the nearly 80-year-old roadway.
He admits toll increases are going to be implemented on the turnpike for the "foreseeable future." He reminds everyone, however, that obtaining an E-ZPass will help drivers see significant savings of 30% or more on tolls.
Defebo said drivers may see some relief sometime after the year 2022 when he said the funding obligation on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is expected to drop from $450 million to $50 million.
"We do not want to continue to place this burden of these toll increases on our customers at 6%. Ideally, we'd like to get to a place where the toll increases are more reflective of the cost of inflation," said Defebo.
Click here to calculate toll rates on Turnpike routes.