PA Turnpike tolls to increase for the 12th straight year

Our yearly "get ready to pay more on the PA Turnpike soon" post.

PA Turnpike

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are going up — again — starting in early 2020.

On July 16, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 6% toll increase for 2020 for both E-ZPass and cash users.

The toll increase is set to go into effect in most locations at 12:01 a.m. on January 5, 2020 in all but 3 locations. At three “cashless” toll facilities, the toll will go into effect on October 27, 2019. These three locations are located at PA Turnpike 376, (Beaver Valley Expressway), PA Turnpike 66 (Greensburg Bypass or Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass), and the Gateway tolling point (milepost 2 near Ohio on I-76).

The Turnpike Commission says that the most common Class-5 tractor trailer toll will increase from $3.70 to $4.00 for E-ZPass and from $16.30 to $17.30 for cash.

This will mark the twelfth consecutive year that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has elected to increase tolls. The toll increases have been needed to fund both infrastructure improvements and to fulfill a legal funding obligation to PennDOT. Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton says that since 2009, the turnpike commission has paid out over $6.6 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT.

“Since 2007, the commission has increased tolls annually to maintain its aging roads and make good on a funding obligation required by two state laws, Act 44 of 2007 and Act 89 of 2013,” said Compton. “Due to this onerous funding requirement, nearly half of the PA Turnpike’s FY 2020 toll revenue will go to pay debt service alone. Anticipated toll revenue is estimated at $1.4 billion for the fiscal year, and our debt-service payments are roughly $700 million for the year.”

In 2018, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed suit against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for “excessive” toll increases which they say hampered interstate commerce. That suit was dismissed on April 4, 2019, in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. OOIDA is working on an appeal.