HARRISBURG– The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission reminds travelers that tolls will go up on the state’s toll roads at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011; officials encourage motorists to take advantage of E-ZPass incentives that, for the first time, will represent a sizeable difference compared to cash rates.
E-ZPass customers, who constitute about two-thirds of Pennsylvania Turnpike users, will pay three percent more in 2011 compared to a 10-percent increase for cash-paying motorists. Combined, the new rates will result in an overall toll increase of five percent.
Under the new rates, the most-common Turnpike toll will jump from $1 to $1.10 for cash-paying motorists and from 97 cents to $1 for those with E-ZPass. Customers who enter the Turnpike prior to 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 2 will be charged the current rates, even if they exit after the new rates have taken effect.
Annual Turnpike toll increases are the result of Act 44 of 2007 and a funding agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to finance non-Turnpike road and bridtoe improvements and transit services across the Commonwealth. Since Act 44 became law in July 2007, the PTC has provided $2.725 billion in supplemental funding to PennDOT and is obligated to continue to pay PennDOT $450 million annually until the 50-year agreement ends in 2057.
In addition to the supplemental funding to PennDOT, new revenues from the 2011 toll increase (only the eighth increase in 70 years) will also help fund the Turnpike’s Capital Improvement Plan, which includes the vital reconstruction and six-lane widening projects now under way and planned throughout the 545-mile Turnpike system.
Also beginning Jan. 2, 2011, cash-paying travelers will notice that, for a short time, no fare schedule will be printed on toll tickets dispensed upon entry. The new tickets with printed schedules are now in production.