Pennsylvania hikes tolls on Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 2013 rate schedule that entails a 10% toll increase for cash-paying customers and a 2% toll increase for those who pay with E-ZPass. The new rates will become effective on Jan. 6, 2013, at 12:01 a.m.

“Implementing this toll increase generates the needed revenue to satisfy our annual transportation-funding obligation of $450 million to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, while at the same time helping to boost enrollment in E-ZPass, which has been a longtime commission priority,” said Roger E. Nutt, CEO of the commission.

The commission also selected HNTB Corp. as program manager to lead the potential implementation of a cashless, All-Electronic Tolling (AET) system. An AET collection system offers numerous advantages to motorists and the agency, including enhanced safety, a cleaner environment, improved customer convenience and operational efficiencies, Nutt said.

“Because of these and other benefits, AET has emerged as much more than a trend in the tolling industry worldwide, and a number of American tolling agencies have gone cashless in recent years,” CEO Nutt said. “But certainly, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is the largest toll system in the U.S. to begin to implement such a system.”

The conversion to an AET system is expected to take at least five years.

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