Kathy Liebler

Manager, Public Affairs
& Media Relations

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Media Contact: Bill Capone
(717) 939-9551 ext. 3040

Jan. 21, 2004




Every penny of the increase will be spent on improving the road.


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 21, 2004) — The five-member Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission yesterday unanimously approved a staff-recommended toll increase. The new rate is, on average, 1.8 cents per mile more for cars and 5.3 cents per mile more for trucks. (The average car rate jumps from 4.1 cents per mile to 5.9 cents per mile; the average truck rate increases from 12.4 to 17.7 cents per mile.)

The new rates become effective Sunday Aug. 1, 2004.

The last Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increase occurred June 1, 1991.

Turnpike CEO Joseph G. Brimmeier said the increase simply keeps pace with inflation since the last price hike. According to the Consumer Price Index or CPI, the cost of tolls will not increase at a higher rate than other goods including medicine, food, gas, or homes.

Brimmeier said the increase will allow the Turnpike to double its current rate of capital spending over the next 10 years, funding critical infrastructure improvements along the aging east-west “Main Line” and Northeast Extension – projects that, if not completed, threaten the safety and economic viability of a vital commercial highway system that is expected to carry 183 million vehicles in 2004.

“Our Turnpike is a safe road today,” Brimmeier said. “But, if we do not implement a toll hike, the potential clearly exists for the road to become unsafe.”

With current revenues, it will take 104 years to reconstruct the Turnpike; but with the increase, the reconstruction will be completed in just 30 years.

“We will also be able to widen the road where it tends to bottleneck, build new ramps, more adequate shoulders and sound walls, eliminate dangerous curves, improve interchanges and make E-ZPass work even better for drivers,” Brimmeier added.

“Not one penny of the increase will go toward new administration costs or increased bureaucracy,” Brimmeier said. “Further, I pledge that this will be the last toll increase for at least the remainder of this decade, so Pennsylvania Turnpike customers can once again enjoy a respite from toll increases while driving a better, safer road.



P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649