Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be higher in the coming year. The Turnpike Commission has approved a toll rate increase of 2 percent for E-ZPass customers and 12 percent for cash customers for 2014.
The increase, the 11th rate hike in the history of the PTC, is largely needed to meet its funding obligation to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under a 2007 state law known as Act 44. It is also the 6th yearly toll increase implemented since passage of Act 44. New revenues from the increase will also help fund the Turnpike’s capital-improvement plan, which is focused mostly on completely rebuilding the 73-year-old toll road and widening it from four to six lanes.
The increase will take effect January 5, 2014.
Here is the effect the 2014 increase is expected to have on some of the most-common Pennsylvania Turnpike Class-1 (or passenger) trips:
· A short, commuter trip for Class-1 vehicles will increase from $1.02 to $1.04 for E-ZPass customers and from $1.40 to $1.60 for cash-paying travelers. Some examples of popular short trips include: Willow Grove (#343) to Bensalem (#351); Irwin (#67) to Pittsburgh (#57); and Harrisburg East (#247) to Harrisburg West (#242). E-ZPass users will save 56 cents on these trips.
· A typical, mid-length trip for Class-1 vehicles will increase from $2.71 to $2.77 for E-ZPass customers and from $3.55 to $4 for cash-paying travelers. Some examples of popular medium trips include: Morgantown (#298) to Valley Forge (#326); Lehigh Valley (#56) to Pocono (#95); and Cranberry (#28) to Pittsburgh (#57). E-ZPass users will save $1.23 on these trips.
· A longer, regional trip for Class-1 vehicles will increase from $7.10 to $7.25 for E-ZPass customers and from $9.10 to $10.20 for cash-paying travelers. Some examples of popular regional trips include: Mid-County (#20) to Wyoming Valley (#115); Breezewood (#161) to New Stanton (#75); and Reading (#286) to Delaware River Bridge (#359). E-ZPass users will save $2.95 on these trips.
E-ZPass is available online at www.paturnpike.com or by calling 1-877-PENN-PASS (1-877-736-6727). Customers can buy an E-ZPass GoPak at more than 300 retailers across the state, including most AAA offices and at certain stores in these chains: Acme, Giant Eagle and GetGo, Karns, Walmart and Wegmans. The E-ZPass GoPak allows travelers to obtain a transponder that is already activated and can be used immediately. (Retailers charge a one-time convenience fee.) Customers who purchase a GoPak must register the E-ZPass within 72 hours online or by calling the toll-free number. Turnpike travelers can also get an E-ZPass at vending machines called Tag Tellers inside certain Turnpike travel plazas. For a comprehensive list of E-ZPass retail locations, visit www.paturnpike.com/ezpass/sales.aspx.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike stretches 514 miles carrying 156.2 million vehicles a year. The Turnpike is part of Interstate 76.