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Toll rates increase on Pa. Turnpike

Rates increased 6 percent for all motorists using E-ZPass, plus an additional 45 percent increase for vehicles using toll by plate.

MANHEIM, Pa. — Pennsylvania Turnpike toll price increases went into effect Jan. 3.

Rates increased 6 percent for all motorists using E-ZPass, plus an additional 45 percent increase for vehicles using toll by plate.

Toll by plate bills the registered owner of a vehicle after cameras capture the license plate. The higher cost for toll by plate users offsets the cost of collecting payment, officials said.

“Just to be reflective of the expense of that tolling method,” said PA Turnpike spokesperson Carl DeFebo.

A majority of cars on the Turnpike—86 percent—use E-ZPass.

The most common toll for a passenger vehicle rose from $1.50 to $1.60 for E-ZPass users, and from $2.50 to $3.90 for those choosing toll by plate.

Rates have increased every year since 2007.

Turnpike officials said the increases were a direct result of Act 44, a law passed that year requiring the Turnpike to pay $450 million annually to PennDOT for funding public transit agencies across the state.

“The annual toll increases really are programmed in as part of Act 44, given this funding burden that the Turnpike has received from the Commonwealth of PA,” DeFebo said.

However 2021 will be the last year of shouldering that huge cost. In 2022 the Turnpike’s annual obligation to PennDOT will fall to $50 million.

“We’re hopeful that the end is near,” DeFebo said. “It doesn’t mean in 2022 that the increases are going to stop, but the hope is that they will not need to be 6 percent each year.”

The Turnpike turned 80 in October 2020.

Officials are hoping to use future toll funds to repair and improve its 552 miles of interstates.

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