C O M M I S S I O N N E W S R E L E A S E
Contact: Lowman S. Henry, (717) 939-9551 Ext. # 2934 September 21, 1998
PRE-PAID TOLLS GO INTO EFFECT OCTOBER 1, 1998
Harrisburg, PA -- Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for local traffic between the Bedford and Breezewood interchanges will be pre-paid by a federal allocation beginning October 1, 1998. As a result, motorists will not be charged when entering at Breezewood and exiting at Bedford or when entering at Bedford and exiting at Breezewood.
The pre-paid drive between the Bedford (#11) and Breezewood (#12) interchanges results from enactment of the Transportation Equity Act (TEA 21) which includes a provision inserted by Congressman Bud Shuster (R-Everett) lifting tolls on that section of the Turnpike.
According to Bill Capone, Director of Marketing for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the pre-paid toll only applies to traffic which "enters at the Bedford Interchange and exits at the Breezewood Interchange, or enters at the Breezewood Interchange and exits at the Bedford Interchange."
"There will be no reduction in tolls for thru traffic, or for vehicles that get on at Breezewood and travel to exits other than Bedford, or get on at Bedford and travel to exits other than Breezewood," Capone explained. "Motorists entering and exiting at the Bedford and Breezewood interchanges will still have to take a ticket to enter the Turnpike and surrender it at the interchange when exiting -- or they will be charged the maximum systemwide fare. The Turnpikes standard policy is that the customer must pay the maximum fare in the event of a lost ticket."
A federal payment to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was needed to cover lost toll revenue as required by a provision of the Turnpikes Trust Indenture prohibiting free travel. Exceptions to that provision are limited to circumstances where the consulting engineer has certified that it is more cost effective to give free passage than to impose a toll. The pre-paid toll provisions of TEA 21 will allow local traffic to utilize the Turnpike without additional charge for up to six years.
"Action by Congress to appropriate $3 million to cover the costs of pre-paying tolls at Bedford and Breezewood protects the interest of Pennsylvania Turnpike bondholders and honors the provisions of the Trust Indenture by making the temporary toll-free provision revenue neutral," said executive director John T. Durbin. "It also provides a safe, convenient alternative route for residents of the Bedford/Breezewood area."
P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676
Phone: (717) 939-9551
Fax: (717) 986-9649