Drivers to pay more for Pa. Turnpike

January 2, 2009 3:42:18 PM PST
In a few days, you'll pay more to use the Pa. Turnpike.

Drivers will pay an extra 25% for tolls, beginning on Sunday. The cheapest toll goes from 75° to 95° for passenger cars.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is raising tolls to raise money for transit agencies like SEPTA. It may also use the extra cash for road and bridge repairs.

"Our customers need to know that tollbooth income is being reinvested in the commonwealth's transportation systems and economy. For the first time, tolls aren't only going back into state toll roads, but helping fund infrastructure improvements in every Pennsylvania county," Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier said. "In fact, more than 90 percent of the toll-increase proceeds will benefit non-Turnpike road and bridge projects and transit operations."

The hike is the sixth in more than 68 years. It is expected to increase revenue from $619.2 million to nearly $740 million.

The previous Pa. Turnpike toll increase occurred in August 2004.

Starting in January 2010, tolls will go up incrementally about three percent each year.

"Compared to levying a large increase every dozen years or so, regularly scheduled increases allow travelers to better anticipate rate changes," Brimmeier said. "Since half of our revenues are collected with E-ZPass, it's simpler to implement annual rate changes today."