After a victory against the New York Thruway Authority’s tolling practices earlier this month, the American Trucking Association is turning its attention to tolls charged by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
Victory Against New York Tolling Could Set Precedent For Further Action By ATA
The August 10th court ruling found that it was illegal for the New York State Thruway Authority to use the $61 million that truckers pay in tolls every year to fund the state’s canal systems, which act mainly as a tourist attraction. Because truckers don’t benefit from the canals, the judge said that it wasn’t fair for their tolls to pay for maintenance for the canals.
With that victory under its belt, the ATA has promised to look into other potential misuses of truck toll money — which could lead them to challenge the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
Said a ATA representative, “We certainly see the decision as a warning shot to any jurisdiction that tries to use tolls from interstate truckers as a kind of piggy bank. We will be aggressively looking at these situations across the country to see what other action we might take.”
PennDOT Uses Hundreds Of Millions In Toll Funds To Pay For Public Transit
In Pennsylvania, the Turnpike Commission is required every year to pay PennDOT $450 million in revenue collected from tolls to pay for public transportation in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. Because trucking does not directly benefit from public transportation, the New York precedent could help them to challenge the legality of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s tolls.
Tolls have risen on the Pennsylvania Turnpike every year for the past nine years.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette