Saturday, January 1, 2011

Turnpike Fares Increase For New Year

In 2011, for the first time since the introduction of electronic E-ZPass transponders, travelers who use the device will pay significantly less than those using only cash. The toll increases 3% for E-ZPass users and 10% for drivers who pay with cash.

“Most of our customers already use E-Zpass, in fact two-thirds of our motorists now pay electronically,” DeFebo says. “It’s much more efficient. It’s safer because there’s no stopping and fewer traffic backlogs through the toll areas.”

In order to remain compliant with Pennsylvania’s Act 44, which requires the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to pay $450 million annually to PennDOT for road maintenance across the state, fares will be raised annually to meet that figure. To this point, the PTC has given $2.5 billion in funding to PennDOT and will continue funding through the remaining 47 years of the agreement. Formerly, the turnpike revenue was reinvested internally, therefore not requiring significant increases.

The Turnpike Commission had also planned to stop printing toll prices on tickets beginning Jan. 1, as a cost-cutting measure. However, after public outcry and a letter of disagreement from Auditor General Jack Wagner, the printed fares will remain. However, until a new batch of tickets can be printed with the higher tolls, the tickets will reflect the old tolls but you still will have to pay the higher amount.

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