Pennsylvania Turnpike

Here We Go Again: Pa. Turnpike Raising Tolls for 15th-Straight Year

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 5% toll increase to go into effect in Jan. 2023

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Driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is once again going to be more expensive next year.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) approved a 5% increase on tolls for 2023.

This will impact both drivers who pay tolls with E-ZPass and Toll-by-Plate. The increase will reflect on the Turnpike tolls at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2023.

The upcoming 2023 increase marks the 15th-straight year of rising toll rates.

“The PTC has been forced to increase tolls annually through the foreseeable future to meets its financial obligations under Act 44 of 2007," PTC CEO Mark Compton said in a news release.

As of July 1, the PTC's yearly requirement to the Commonwealth decreased from $450 million to $50 million in cash proceeds. There are no further bond issues because of PA Act 89 of 2013.

Even with the requirement decrease, toll rates will still be rising.

"Due to the terms of the Act-44 bonds, the PTC’s debt service will continue to rise even though borrowing has ended, growing to an annual maximum of $600 million by 2038 before it starts to decrease, " the release states.

Revenue projections created by the PTC have projected future toll increases of 5% through 2025, 4% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027 and then a 3% annual increase from 2028 until 2050. 

The PTC notes that even with these ongoing annual increases, the per-mile toll rate on the PA Turnpike remains below the midline this year compared with rates of other tolling agencies in the country.

"Because of [Tuesday's] action, the most-common toll for a passenger vehicle next year will increase from $1.70 to $1.80 for E-ZPass customers and from $4.10 to $4.40 for Toll By Plate customers," the commission says.

Drivers using E-ZPass will continue to pay the lowest rates on the Turnpike, which the PTC says are 60% lower than that of Toll-By-Plate rates.

The PTC's Electronic Toll Collection - or E-ZPass - 13.8 cent per mile rate is 20% less than that of the 17.8 cent per mile national average.

If you don't have an E-ZPass, the PTC recommends downloading the PA TOLL PAY mobile app, where drivers who pay by plate receive a savings of 15% on monthly invoices. Drivers can also use this app to find a nearby retailer to pay an invoice in cash.

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