Get ready for a rate hike on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Starting Sunday, E-ZPass users will see a 2 percent rate increase and those who use with cash will pay 12 percent more.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says E-ZPass customers pay less because of the lower costs of collecting tolls electronically.
"Our E-ZPass customers have seen lower increases than cash customers since 2011, and this will be the fourth year we've been able to minimize the impact to E-ZPass users," Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said. "Since more than 70 percent of our customers pay with E-ZPass today, most customers are taking advantage of these lower rates."
Under the new tolls, the drive from the Harrisburg East Interchange to Pittsburgh will cost an E-ZPass user about $15.00 and a cash user $19.
The PTC says the increase is needed to meet their funding obligation to the state under Act 44, which requires them to make annual payments to PennDOT for off-turnpike road improvements.
Since Act 44's passage in 2007, the PTC has transferred almost $3.9 billion to PennDOT. The commissions' outstanding Act 44 debt now stands at $4.3 billion, with associated debt payments of $226 million a year and climbing.
"We understand that these recurrent annual increases can create an economic hardship for some, and for this reason we ardently support a measure in the General Assembly that would modify the funding requirements in Act 44," Compton said. "If passed, this measure would mean that the PTC could eventually reduce the magnitude of future toll increases."
Some of the money will also be used to rebuild the 73-year-old toll road and widen it from four to six lanes.