|PA Turnpike Reminds Motorists of Five Percent Toll Increase on Sunday
E-ZPass users will still pay about a third less than cash customers.
| Middletown, PA (Jan. 2, 2015) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission reminds motorists that toll rates are set to increase on Jan. 4 by five percent for both cash and E-ZPass customers. The new rates take effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. PA Turnpike customers can view both old and new rates online at http://www.paturnpike.com/toll.
The increase is needed, in part, to fulfill the PA Turnpike's obligation to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to address a transportation-funding shortfall. Under Act 44 of 2007, the Turnpike continues to make annual contributions of $450 million to PennDOT for off-Turnpike transit and multimodal projects. To date, the Turnpike has provided more than $4.5 billion in supplemental funding which has been invested in ground-transportation systems (including bridges and highways) across the state.
The toll increase will also fund PA Turnpike capital spending, focused largely on reconstruction and widening projects in which the Turnpike is rebuilt from the ground up and expanded from four to six lanes. The Turnpike invests more than $600 million a year in road and bridge improvements and presently has more than $1.6 billion worth of active construction projects under way. So far, the Turnpike has rebuilt and widened more than 100 miles of its 550-mile toll system – parts of which turn 75 years-old in 2015. These improvements were made possible only due to incremental toll increases.
This will be the seventh annual toll increase needed under Act 44 of 2007. It is the first time since 2011 that E-ZPass rates have gone up by the same percent as cash rates. (To date, E-ZPass tolls have increased by just seven percent since lower E-ZPass rates were introduced in 2011.)
With the increase, E-ZPass customers will continue to save as much as 35 percent compared to cash.
The PA Turnpike hopes to boost E-ZPass enrollment because it's less costly to process tolls electronically and more convenient for travelers. Many motorists get E-ZPass at www.paturnpike.com or by calling 1-877-PENN-PASS (1-877-736-6727).
Customers can also buy an E-ZPass GoPak at more than 300 retailers across the state, including most AAA offices and at stores in these chains: Acme, Giant Eagle and GetGo, Karns, Kuhn’s, Walmart and Wegmans. Sunoco A-Plus stores inside PA Turnpike rest stops also sell E-ZPass GoPaks. A GoPak allows travelers to get a transponder that can be used immediately.
It costs $38 to purchase an E-ZPass if using a credit or debit card to set up an auto-replenishment account; the cost includes a $35 toll balance plus a $3 annual fee. E-ZPass retailers charge a one-time convenience fee (there is no such fee for those who join online or by phone).
One E-ZPass transponder can be moved from vehicle to vehicle using the provided mounting strips. Just remember to call or go online to register the license-plate number and other information for the vehicles to be used under the E-ZPass account.
A Pennsylvania Turnpike E-ZPass can be used on any toll facility where the purple-and-white E-ZPass logo is shown. Presently, there are 25 E-ZPass agencies in 15 states, largely in the Northeastern U.S., and more than 20 million E-ZPass transponders in use on toll roads, bridges and tunnels nationwide.