HARRISBURG, PA. --- For the twelfth year in a row, tolls prices will be going up for E-ZPass and cash customers.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a six percent increase on Tuesday that will go into effect for all but three "cashless" toll facilities on January 5, 2020.
Turnpike Commission officials say the most common toll for passenger vehicles will increase from $1.40 to $1.50 for E-ZPass customers and from $2.30 to $2.50 for cash customer.
The most common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer 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."
The 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) will increase on October 27, 2019.
Officials say the increase is "required" to maintain debt-service costs to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), which requires $450 million in funding by state laws (Act 44/Act 89).
“Since 2007, the commission has increased tolls annually to maintain its aging roads and make good on a funding obligation required by two state laws, Act 44 of 2007 and Act 89 of 2013,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark Compton in a press release. “As a result, the commission has delivered $6.6 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in the last dozen years.”
Compton also said it is meant to help preserve the turnpike as part of a ten-year plan.
“Parts of our tollway turn 79 years old on Oct. 1, and we must continue to invest in our road to make it safer, smoother and wider for customers,” Compton said. "The PTC has reconstructed more than 140 miles of its system, with another 11 miles of roadway being rebuilt and widened and more than 82 miles in planning and design phases."
The increases come following audits done this year on both the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and PennDOT, which didn't paint good pictures.
The audit on the PTC found it is nearly $12 billion in debt, nearly outpacing the entire commonwealth.
The audit on PennDOT found more than $4 billion was diverted from repairs to required payments for State Police.