Findlay Connector Cashless Tolling to Go Live on June 3
Ramp toll plazas go away, non-E-ZPass customers to be billed.
HARRISBURG, PA (May 29, 2018) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) today announced that Cashless Tolling will go live June 3 on the Findlay Connector section of the Southern Beltway (PA Turnpike 576) in Washington and Allegheny counties. “Cashless” means there will be no coin baskets along the roadway; cash will no longer be accepted.
Customers who use the Findlay Connector will no longer pay at the six on/off ramp toll plazas, which will be removed. Beginning June 3, they will pay electronically at a new location on the Findlay Connector mainline — an “open-road” toll zone at milepost 2.6 where equipment is suspended from an overhead gantry. Findlay Connector trips which are now tolled between Exits 1-2 and Exits 4-6 will become free after conversion.
Motorists with E-ZPass will not notice a difference and will continue to use the process with which they are familiar. For motorists who do not have E-ZPass, an image of their license plate is captured as they travel through the open-road toll zone. A toll bill is mailed to the registered vehicle owner using the address on file with PennDOT — a cashless process known as “PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE.”
The PTC last month suspended the Findlay Connector go-live date for five weeks to provide added time to continue testing the highway-speed electronic equipment at the 70-mph tolling facility.
The benefits of cashless tolling include:
enhanced toll-plaza safety — no swerving to find the proper lane;
reduced congestion and travel times;
reduced footprint, emissions, noise and light;
reduced cost and disruption to build new interchanges; and
reduced long-term capital and operating costs.
PTC CEO Mark Compton explained that the Findlay Connector is the next in PTC’s series of staged, cashless pilot projects. “Agencies across the country are introducing cashless systems, and we owe it to customers to continue to use the best technology available in every facet of our operations,” said Compton. “We are making good on our promise to innovate and keep customers moving safely.”
With the Connector conversion, the Turnpike will operate four cashless tolling pilot locations. Last month, it converted the Keyser Avenue and Clarks Summit tolling points on the Northeastern Extension. Last spring, it converted the Beaver Valley Expressway (Toll 376). In January 2016, it opened a cashless tolling point near the Turnpike Bridge over the Delaware River at the New Jersey border. The PTC assured employees there will be no layoffs with the pilot projects.
Vehicle Classification System Upgrade
As part of the upgrades on the Findlay Connector, the PTC will replace its axle and weight-based vehicle classification system with a new axle and height-based system. This system — which is used on the New York State Thruway and the Ohio Turnpike, among other toll facilities — offers improved accuracy, efficiency and predictability.
The axle/height system will detect the number of axles and height between the first two axles to assess the toll; vehicles under 7.5 feet are considered low profile (“L” designation) while those over 7.5 feet are considered high profile (“H” designation).
Along with the classification changes, Findlay Connector drivers will see new toll rates beginning June 3. The new rates reflect an increase implemented on most other PA Turnpike sections in January. Findlay Connector rates did not increase at that time and have not increased in more than five years. The new rates are available at the Turnpike’s online toll calculator. Visit https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx.
For more information on the project, including a cashless tolling video, visit www.nocashzone.com.CONTACT:
Renee Vid Colborn