Cash tolls on Pa. turnpike to rise 10 percent
HARRISBURG, Pa. - July 22, 2011 (WPVI) -- Fares on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will rise 10 percent for cash-paying customers in 2012, but those using E-ZPass will not see an increase, the turnpike commission said Thursday.
The five-member commission approved the change at its meeting Tuesday in an effort to generate money needed to help pay off bonds that fund highway improvements and mass transit systems around the state.
The increase will be the fourth straight annual boost by the commission to pay off the bonds, and will raise approximately $23 million in new revenue next year.
The new rates mean that the most common cash toll for passenger vehicles will increase from $1.10 to $1.25.
Nearly two-thirds of turnpike travelers already use E-ZPass, the commission said. Those customers currently get as much as a 7 percent savings on tolls and will be able to save approximately 17 percent next year, it said.
The increase will apply to all vehicle classes on all sections of the turnpike, except the Southern Beltway, or I-576, in Allegheny and Washington counties. Rates there will stay unchanged.
As a result of the steeper E-ZPass discounts, commercial haulers will no longer get a volume discount of 15 percent, since E-ZPass use promises a discount of approximately 17 percent, the commission said.
Gov. Tom Corbett has pledged to oppose all tax and fee increases, but a spokesman did not respond Thursday to a message seeking comment on whether the governor opposes the toll increase.
In addition to the 2012 increase, the commission said it would increase tolls in 2013 and 2014 by 3 percent.
pennsylvania turnpike, pennsylvania, local/state
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