HARRISBURG, Pa. - Some of those who use the Pennsylvania Turnpike will have to shell out more money for their trip.
Rates for drivers who use cash to pay for the tolls will see an increase starting in January, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Thursday.
The increase is 10 percent and goes into effect at midnight on January 1, 2012. E-ZPass customers will see no change in their rate.
This will increase the amount of savings that E-ZPass customers already have. According to the Turnpike Commission, E-ZPass users save up to 7 percent, compared to those who pay with cash. That number will now jump up to around 17-percent.
"Implementing a cash-only toll increase accomplishes two essential goals: It generates the revenue we need to satisfy our annual funding obligation to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and it encourages more travelers to sign up for E-ZPass," said Roger E. Nutt, the Turnpike Commission's chief executive officer. "At the same time, it helps diminish the economic impact of a toll increase; since nearly two-thirds of turnpike travelers already use E-ZPass, only about a third of our customers will be affected."
This will be the fourth year in a row that turnpike rates will climb. The Turnpike Commission said it will see a 3 percent raise in revenues, or $23 million, because of the raise.
According to the Turnpike Commission, the annual need for rate increases is from Act 44, which was passed in 2007.
Act 44 mandates annual contributions by the Turnpike Commission be made to PennDOT to pay for broader statewide transportation needs.
Gov. Tom Corbett has pledged to oppose all tax and fee increases.
Allentown, PA 18102