Open Road Tolling

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The PA Turnpike is converting to Open Road Tolling (ORT).  It is a safer, more convenient, and more affordable way for our customers to travel.

What is ORT?

Open Road Tolling is a cashless, free-flowing mode of collecting tolls without traditional toll plazas or tollbooths.

In an ORT system, tolls are charged electronically as customers drive at highway speeds without slowing down or stopping beneath overhead structures — called gantries — located between interchanges.

Equipment on the gantry and in the roadway classifies and identifies the vehicle and electronically processes tolls. ORT allows free-flowing traffic, which reduces accidents and offers the convenience our customers expect and appreciate.

Learn how our open road toll zone construction sequence works.


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We're adding ORT because it:

  • Fulfills customer expectations for seamless, convenient travel
  • Is safer for PA Turnpike drivers and its employees, and it's better for the environment
  • Allows new access points (interchanges) to be added more easily and at a lower cost, enhancing mobility and reducing traffic at interchanges and on connecting roads
  • Will help save the PA Turnpike more than $25 million a year
Gantry with Equipment Noted

How The Technology Behind ORT Works

ORT systems have been operating across the U.S. and around the globe for more than 20 years.  They rely on innovations in technology to identify and classify each vehicle as it passes beneath the gantry. 

 Here's the breakdown:

  • Vehicles are classified to determine the appropriate toll rate. Specialized sensors are mounted overhead to the gantry and embedded in the pavement to determine a vehicle’s height and number of axles. Sensors called vehicle separators distinguish one vehicle from others nearby. In the ORT system, weight will no longer be used to classify vehicles.
  • E-ZPass readers (antennae) collect vehicle information from a transponder device for those who have set up a prepaid account. Most PA Turnpike travelers — about 86% — choose this payment method, which offers the lowest rates.
  • If an E-ZPass transponder is not detected, overhead cameras that have already captured a series of high-definition images of a vehicle’s license plate will check the E-ZPass system to see if the license plate is tied to an E-ZPass. If one is found, payment will be deducted from the user’s account at the E-ZPass price. Otherwise, a Toll By Plate invoice is generated and mailed to the registered owner. Due to the costs of processing a toll this way, rates for Toll By Plate customers are higher.
  • All data collected at the gantry is transferred via a broadband, fiber optic network now being built to the Turnpike’s Customer Service Center, located in Harrisburg, for verification, processing, and payment. All data is secured and not shared.


The Benefits of ORT

ORT represents the future of toll collection worldwide. It is a safer and more convenient way for customers to travel.

The thought has always been to move collections away from our interchanges once the gantries were installed along the mainline of the PA Turnpike. This transition started more than 10 years ago.  It has been implemented in phases to ensure a seamless conversion from our hybrid cash and E-ZPass system to our current All-Electronic Tolling (AET) system, and ultimately moving to our ORT system.

In 2011, the Turnpike conducted a study on the impact that AET would have on customers, operations and our organization. The PA Turnpike Commission launched a series of AET pilots across the state beginning in 2016 to get real-world data, which continues to show that the technology and our tolling system is meeting all projections. 

In 2025, the system will move toward ORT. The system and our rate of collections is performing within expectations set for us by our 10 years of research and what we know to be standard at our peer agencies nationwide. 

Now more than ever, tolling facilities around the globe are implementing cashless operations.  We're seeing its benefits in safety, mobility, sustainability, and environmental, just to name a few. 

It meets customer preferences for cashless payment options.  More than 86% of PA Turnpike travelers use E-ZPass today, and 70% of travelers surveyed said they prefer AET to traditional interchanges. 
It increases access, boosts economy, and improves mobility.Upon implementation, the PTC can build more access points at a fraction of the cost of an interchange. This delivers economic and mobility benefits to adjacent communities, allowing more access to these locations from the Turnpike. 
It is safer for drivers at entry and exit points.ORT removes toll booths, eliminating the confusion and lane switching associated with traditional stop-and-go tolling. With the removal of traditional toll booths, this also allows our customers a better line of sight as they approach the gantries. 
It saves time and improves efficiency.AET increases mobility by reducing travel-time impacts. With ORT, travel time and mobility impacts of traditional tolling methods will be eliminated.
Access for all regardless of payment preference.AET provides all travelers access to all entry and exit points, regardless of how they choose to pay tolls.
It's better for the environment.Non-stop travel means lower emissions, less fuel, and a cleaner environment. Eliminating tollbooths reduces the footprint — or property impacts — of interchanges.
It's preferred among states with tolling.The future of tolling is ORT, which is why we see it being adopted by more than 65% of U.S. tolling agencies.
It will help to save the PA Turnpike $25 million a year.A $25 million yearly savings in interchange maintenance and operations post-ORT.


How Communities Benefit from ORT

Another key benefit that ORT provides is the ability to provide greater access for communities near the Turnpike. With ORT, the Turnpike can design and construct new connections at locations in between existing Turnpike interchanges at a fraction of the cost of traditional, brick-and-mortar interchanges.  

These new, free-flowing connections ease traffic at nearby interchanges, increase safety and mobility throughout the region, and help boost the economic opportunities in the communities they serve. In anticipation of ORT, the PA Turnpike is already developing three new interchanges across the Commonwealth:   

  1. Lafayette Street Interchange, Montgomery County (I-276)
  2. Scranton Beltway, Lackawanna County (I-476)
  3. Route 130 Interchange, Westmoreland County (I-76)


We've created an interactive map that allows you to view the gantries at each location along our roadway.  Click here to access the map and view more details.   

ORT map


The Start of ORT on The PA Turnpike

Open Road Tolling will begin in 2025 in the eastern part of the state. Specifically, east of Reading and on the Northeastern Extension. It will expand to the western region of the PA Turnpike beginning in late 2026.  

Motorists travelling on the eastern part of the PA Turnpike mainline and Northeastern Extension will see toll equipment buildings and overhead steel structures called gantries being built starting on I-76 at milepost 290.7 in Lancaster County, moving east to I-276 at milepost 348.7 in Bucks County, and then along the Northeastern Extension (I-476) beginning at milepost A27.4 in Montgomery County up to milepost A123.4 in Lackawanna County. 

Equipment Building

Frequently Asked Questions

Will ORT affect Turnpike toll rates?

How is ORT different than AET?

Where does the toll money collected go?

How do Turnpike toll rates compare to other toll roads?

Does the Turnpike receive any state funding?

Didn’t legislators release the Turnpike from its Act 44 obligation?

How has the reduction in these payments impacted the Turnpike’s operations?

Why are tolls still going up if payments to the Commonwealth have decreased?

Why did the legislature look to the Turnpike for funding?

Are toll increases driven by increases in the Turnpike’s operating budget?

How does the Turnpike ensure everyone pays?

What do I get for the toll I pay?

More Tolling Resources

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Using E-ZPass Out of State

The E-ZPass network currently includes more than 15 states.

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