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How does the Pa. Turnpike compare to other toll roads? | VERIFY

End-to-end, the Pa. Turnpike is the costliest toll worldwide. However, the cost-per-mile tells a different story.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — With Memorial Day in the rearview, the summer travel season is underway. Many drivers across the Commonwealth will take the Pa. Turnpike to get to their vacation destinations.

Some are claiming online that it's the most expensive road in the world.


Is the Pa. Turnpike the most expensive toll road in the world?


Australian insurance company Budget Direct

Pa. Turnpike Commission


This needs context.

In 2021, Budget Direct analyzed the prices of more than 400 toll roads all over the world.

It found that, in one way, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is the most expensive toll in the world, and it's not even close.

According to the Turnpike Commissions toll calculator, a trip on the Turnpike end-to-end is going to cost drivers $124.90 via toll-by-plate or $61.70 with an E-Z Pass.

Even with the E-Z Pass discount, the I-76 tolls still cost more than any on the planet.

The world's second priciest toll road, Austria's Grossglockner High Alpine Road, charges $43.03. The second priciest toll in the U.S. is the New York State Thruway, which at most will cost drivers $28.08.

However, the numbers don't tell the whole story, according to Turnpike spokesperson Carl DeFebo.

"What was not taken into consideration was the cost-per-mile of these different toll road systems," DeFebo said.

When looking at cost-per-mile, the Turnpike costs $0.28 per mile, while the Grossglockner High-Alpine Road costs $1.44 per mile.

DeFebo also says if you're trying to cross the state, there are better, cheaper routes to take.

"There are like seven alternatives that are 10 to 100 miles shorter," DeFebo said. "That would be the longest one of the longest routes that you could take."

So the answer to this question needs context. 

If you consider the cost-per-mile, the Pa. Turnpike is far from the highest-priced toll road, but if you're traveling from end-to-end it is the most expensive in the world.

Regardless of what you pay, DeFebo says the revenue collected is used for turnpike maintenance, as well as funding highways, bridges, and mass transit systems across the state.

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