At its bimonthly meeting today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) approved a six percent toll increase for both E-ZPass and cash customers; the increase is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2018.
Because of today’s action, the most common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase next year from $1.23 to $1.30 for E-ZPass customers and from $1.95 to $2.10 for cash customers. The most common toll for a Class-5 vehicle — a prevalent tractor-trailer class — will increase from $10.17 to 10.78 for E-ZPass and from $14.45 to $15.35 for cash.
The toll increase will apply to all portions of the PA Turnpike system with these exceptions:
The toll increase — like previous increases since 2009 — is required to meet the PTC’s various funding obligations. These include providing funding to the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to support public transportation statewide and improving the Turnpike’s own 550-mile toll-road system that is almost 77 years old in places.
“The Turnpike Commission is obligated by state law to augment Pennsylvania’s infrastructure needs; in fact, the commission has delivered $5.65 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in the last decade,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Today, our annual payments of $450 million enable PennDOT to provide operating support to mass-transit authorities across the state to help ease future fare increases for riders.”
Since August 2007, the PTC made 40 quarterly payments to PennDOT totaling $5.65 billion. Of that, $2.25 billion has supported the PA Motor License Fund (MLF) where it is invested in off-Turnpike highway and bridge projects; $3.4 billion has supported the PA Public Transportation Trust Fund (PTTF) to provide financial assistance to the public-transit systems. Beginning in 2014, the PTC’s payments no longer funded the MLF but have gone exclusively to the PTTF.
“At the same time, we must also continue to invest in our aging tollway system and make it safer, wider and smoother for our customers,” Compton said. “This fiscal year, about 85 percent of the PTC’s $500 million capital budget is focused on renewing, rebuilding and expanding our toll highways which last year carried a record 200 million vehicles.”
The PTC has thus far reconstructed more than 124 miles of its system, with another 20 miles of roadway now being rebuilt and widened and more than 90 miles currently in planning and design phases.
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