Pa. Turnpike reminds motorists of toll increase starting Sunday - abc27 WHTM

Pa. Turnpike reminds motorists of toll increase starting Sunday

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission reminds motorists that toll rates will increase on Jan. 6 by 10 percent for cash customers and 2 percent for E-ZPass customers. This means E-ZPass users will pay about 25 percent less than cash customers.

The new rates—which take effect at 12:01 a.m.—are expected to generate approximately $25 million in new revenue in 2013.

The toll increase is needed, in part, to satisfy the Turnpike's obligation to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to help address a transportation-funding shortfall.

The increase is also essential to fund the Turnpike's own capital plan in which the highway is completely rebuilt from the ground up and expanded from four to six lanes.

So far the commission has rebuilt more than 100 miles of its system—parts of which are more than 72 years old—at an average cost of $20 million per mile.

The Turnpike Commission has set E-ZPass rates lower than cash rates since 2011. It aims to increase E-ZPass enrollment because it's less costly to process an electronic transaction compared to a cash transaction.

About 68 percent of all Pennsylvania Turnpike travelers already have E-ZPass, and the commission wants to grow that number as it develops a completely cashless system, called All-Electronic Tolling, in the coming years.

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