Media & Public Relations

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


Carl DeFebo
manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

December 4, 2008

PA Turnpike Outlines Act 44 Payments, Details of Jan. 4, 2009 Toll Increase

Twenty-five percent increase to help fund ground transportation statewide.

HARRISBURG, PA. (DEC. 4, 2008) - Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials announced today that the Turnpike will supply $1.3 billion in new funding in the next year and a half for statewide road and bridge projects and mass-transit agencies with the upcoming 2009 toll increase resulting from Act 44 of 2007.

"The mission of America's First Superhighway has changed, and that change is evident in every Pennsylvania county today because of the $1.2 billion we've already provided to PennDOT during the previous 16 months," said Turnpike CEO Joseph Brimmeier. "No state has provided anywhere near this level of new funding."

Under Act 44, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell in July, 2007, the Turnpike will provide a total of $2.5 billion in supplemental transportation funding from August 2007 to May 2010. In order to meet this obligation, most Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls will increase by 25 percent effective Jan. 4, 2009 - a year earlier than anticipated before the enactment of Act 44.

As a result of the toll increase - only the sixth rate change in more than 68 years - projected annual gross toll revenue will increase from $619.2 million (2008 fiscal year end) to approximately $738.4 million (projected 2010 fiscal year end). The previous increase in August 2004 was earmarked to rebuild and widen the original Turnpike. From that, the Turnpike invested $1.2 billion in four years, reconstructing 32 miles of toll road, resurfacing 173 miles and replacing 85 bridges.

"Our customers need to know that the revenue from the tollbooth is now being reinvested in the Commonwealth's transportation systems and its economy. For the first time, toll income isn't only going back into our toll roads, but helping to fund infrastructure improvements in every corner of Pennsylvania," Brimmeier said. "Toll-increase proceeds are mainly earmarked for non-Turnpike projects, so the funds generated by this increase will largely be used by PennDOT to help finance off-Turnpike road and bridge projects and the state's 74 mass-transit operations."

With the new fares, the most-common cash rate for passenger vehicles will increase from 75 cents to 95 cents, while the most-common rate for commercial vehicles will increase from $6.25 to $7.85. A listing of some of the most-common toll rates appears below, and a full toll schedule is available online at

The new rates will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 4. Tolls will increase across the entire system with two exceptions: Tolls on the newest sections (Findlay Connector/PA-576 and Mon-Fayette Expressway/Turnpike 43 Uniontown to Brownsville section) will remain at their current rates that were set in anticipation of the increase.

The Turnpike originally planned to implement a toll increase in January 2010. The Commonwealth's transportation funding crisis, however, sparked the passage of Act 44 last year and the new toll-rate structure. "Back in 2004, we projected a need to increase tolls again by 25 percent in 2010," Brimmeier said. "Now, our new Act 44 responsibilities dictate that the increase is needed one year earlier."

Brimmeier noted that the increase is essential to maintain the state's ground-transportation network. "In three years, we are providing Act 44-funds totaling $2.5 billion to this Commonwealth for other roads, bridges and mass-transit agencies," he pointed out. "Beyond 2010, we will supply $450 million per year if we don't toll I-80 and more than $1 billion per year on average in the next decade if we do. In addition, we continue to make unprecedented investments in the Turnpike itself through a 10-year, $4.6 billion capital-improvement plan."

Taken together, the Turnpike's capital expenditures and Act-44 payments represent a significant investment in Pennsylvania's transportation systems in the coming decade. Its $4.6 billion capital plan and a minimum of $5.7 billion in Act-44 contributions signify an infusion of more than $10 billion to the state's economy in 10 years. Because of this, Pennsylvania can begin to address its well-documented transportation funding crisis while providing road-construction and related jobs across the state. Industry experts estimate that every $1 billion in new funding for roads and bridges results in the creation of approximately 32,000 jobs.

"We're rebuilding the Turnpike. We're helping PennDOT and local governments reconstruct roads and bridges across the Commonwealth. We're supplying critically needed jobs to thousands of Pennsylvanians," said Turnpike Commission Vice Chairman Timothy J. Carson. "Moreover, the unique Public-Public Partnership forged between the Turnpike and PennDOT under Act 44 is serving as a national model - a creative alternative for the many other states confronting infrastructure-funding challenges similar to Pennsylvania's."

Brimmeier also announced that the Turnpike is taking a new approach to how and when future increases are handled. Starting in January 2010, tolls will go up incrementally by about three percent each year. "In 2004, customers told us they prefer regularly scheduled increases so they can anticipate the change as opposed to levying a substantial increase every dozen years or so," Brimmeier said. "And since more than half of our revenues are collected electronically with E-ZPass, it's much simpler now to implement a recurrent rate change."

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operates and maintains 545 miles of toll roads in the state. It oversees 60 fare-collection facilities, 19 service plazas and 26 maintenance facilities. With 2,250 employees, it generated $619.2 million in annual gross toll revenue from 189.5 million vehicles a year for fiscal year 2008. Known as "America's First Superhighway," it opened Oct. 1, 1940. To learn more, visit


Most Common Passenger-Vehicle Fares
Current New
$0.75 $0.95


$1.25 $1.60
$1.50 $1.90
$2.25 $2.85
Most Common Commercial-Vehicle Fares (Class 5, 30,001 - 45,000 lbs.)
Current New
$2.00 $2.50


$3.50 $4.40
$6.25 $7.85
$15.25 $19.10