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Westmoreland

Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls to jump 6% in 2018

Jeff Himler
| Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 3:15 p.m.
Motorists on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Motorists on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Motorists will pay 6 percent more next year when they drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Turnpike Commission decided Tuesday.

The increase for E-ZPass and cash customers will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 7 as part of yearly toll hikes expected to continue until 2044.

The most common tolls for passenger vehicles will rise to $1.30 from $1.23 for those with E-ZPass and to $2.10 from $1.95 for those paying cash. Common tolls for a Class 5 tractor-trailer will increase to $10.78 from $10.17 with E-ZPass and to $15.35 from $14.45 with cash.

The hike is needed to meet the commission's funding obligations for updating its 550 miles of toll roads and for supporting statewide public transportation, the commission said in a news release. Portions of the turnpike system, which carried a record 200 million vehicles last year, are nearly 77 years old, officials noted.

In April, toll increases will be phased in at the Findlay Connector (Pa. Turnpike 576 in Allegheny and Washington counties) and at the Keyser Avenue and Clarks Summit toll plazas on the Northeastern Extension (Interstate 476) in Lackawanna County. Increases in those areas will occur as part of a conversion to cashless tolling that will use a new vehicle classification system.

There will be no increase next year for E-ZPass or Toll-By-Plate customers at the Delaware River Bridge westbound cashless tolling point in Bucks County.

The commission has paid $5.65 billion to PennDOT since August 2007 for non-turnpike highway and bridge projects and financial assistance to public transit systems.

CEO Mark Compton said the turnpike is spending about 85 percent of its $500 million capital budget on “renewing, rebuilding and expanding” its toll highways. It has reconstructed 124 miles of the system, with work under way on about 20 miles of road and planned on more than 90 additional miles, according to the release.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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