All-Electronic Tolling Customers' Frequently Asked Questions

1) How will All-Electronic Tolling (AET) work?
 

AET allows all customers to pay without slowing down or stopping at tollbooths. Motorists will no longer pay with cash on the roadway and all tolls will be collected electronically. In addition to E-ZPass, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is studying other electronic-tolling methods, such as license plate tolling, that would entail billing the vehicle’s registered owner. Under any circumstance, E-ZPass would continue to be the most affordable way to travel our system. E-ZPass customers are currently receiving at least a 35 percent discount on average over cash customers. Click here for a more detailed look at how AET works at other agencies.

2) Why consider All-Electronic Tolling?
 

The PTC is committed to converting to a cashless, nonstop system because it is in the best interest of our customers and the agency. Agencies that have converted find it safer, quicker, more convenient for customers and better for the environment. Under any AET system, customers do not idle at toll plazas or stop to pay at a tollbooth, reducing commute times and vehicle emissions. In addition, other states that have implemented cashless tolling have seen a reduction in accidents, especially at toll plazas.

3) How will I pay my toll?
 

All tolls would be assessed as customers drive at highway speeds beneath overhead gantries using E-ZPass transponders or other options. A variety of payment options are being explored to allow customers without E-ZPass to either pay tolls before or after traveling based on an image taken of their license plate. Click here to learn how AET works.

4) Will I be able to use the PA Turnpike if I don’t enroll in E-ZPass?
 

Yes. Motorists will always have other options to pay tolls besides E-ZPass. The PTC continues to study the various payment options that technology allows. It is important to understand that the higher costs associated with license plate tolling options would result in higher tolls for customers who decline the more-efficient E-ZPass payment option. As a result, E-ZPass will continue to be the least expensive way to travel the Turnpike. E-ZPass is now used by 1.3 million of our customers, who enjoy the savings and reduced travel time they realize as a result of enrolling. E-ZPass customers are already receiving at least a 35 percent discount on average over cash customers.

5) What will happen to the employees who work on the Turnpike now?
 

We understand going cashless will have a tremendous impact on our workforce, and we’re developing plans to assist employees. An Employee Communications Team has been established to work with the AET Implementation Team by providing valuable insight as the plan is developed. If you are a PA Turnpike employee, get more information by clicking on the Employee Extranet link on the PA Turnpike's Website Homepage.

6) Will the Turnpike still be as safe as it is today?
 

Yes. The safety of our customers and our employees will always remain our top priority. The Pennsylvania State Police and the State Farm Safety Patrol will continue to patrol our system and provide service to those in need. In addition, our maintenance crews will continue to ensure safe travel. The experience in other states has been that cashless tolling improves safety because there are fewer accidents at toll plazas.

7) Would speeding tickets be issued through this system?
 

No. By state law, toll-collection systems cannot be used for speeding citations. Speed limits on the Turnpike would continue to be enforced solely by the Pennsylvania State Police. Motorists who opt to use any new license plate tolling options would have the same privacy protections currently enjoyed by our existing E-ZPass customers.

8) How would AET impact traffic flow at interchanges?
 

AET will reduce travel time because customers will no longer stop at toll plazas and wait to pay. AET will also make our system safer by reducing the number of accidents that occur today as motorists shift lanes at toll plazas. Each interchange will be studied in detail to determine if modifications are required. AET would not require the closure of any interchanges and in fact would enhance traffic flow to and from the Turnpike.

9) How has public input been gathered to date?
 

The PTC has mounted an outreach campaign to ensure that the public — especially cash customers, public officials and stakeholders — has a chance to provide feedback and insights on the potential conversion to AET. To date this outreach included coverage by local print and electronic media, a website (www.paturnpike.com/aet), eight focus-group meetings, a survey of 10,000 cash-paying customers, an employee survey and multiple special interest meetings. The PTC will continue the public outreach effort through AET Implementation. If you would like a speaker to provide an overview of the project at your civic or group meeting please click here to request a presentation.

10) How will I know what I am going to be charged for a trip?
 

Toll rate information is currently available on the PTC website to allow travelers to plan their trip in advance. Under a cashless system without toll tickets the PTC is considering options such as printed fare schedules at service plazas, improved roadside signing and smartphone technology. When the studies are complete and the range of options is settled more details will be provided.