The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will be raising tolls by 10 percent for those who pay in cash in starting on New Years Day 2012. Those with E-Z Passes will see their rates remain the same.
Carl DeFebo, a spokesman with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said that it is necessary to raise the tolls to offset costs. The way it is being done is intended to encourage more people to utilize E-Z Pass, which he says costs the comission four times less to process than a cash payment.
About 190 million motorists a year use the turnpike. The most common cash toll for passenger vehicles is $1.10, which will increase to $1.25.
Since 2009, tolls have increased on an annual basis. This is, in part, an effort to offset the obligations of Act 44 of 2007, a measure that forces the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to send funding to PennDOT and transit agencies across the state.
"We operate more than 545 miles of toll roads. Some of those portions of toll roads are now more than 71 years old. And we have also been in the process of reconstructing the turnpike one stretch at a time. And so a process like this, a total reconstruction project costs 15 to 18 million dollars per mile," said DeFebo.