More than $104 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went uncollected last year, according to an internal turnpike report that was obtained by the Associated Press.
"That's very concerning because the turnpike needs money," said driver Kimberly Ratliff.
When the pandemic hit, the turnpike got rid of collectors, switching to an all-electronic "toll-by-plate" license plate camera system. If you don't have an E-ZPass, cameras are supposed to snap a photo of your plate and bill you in the mail. But it's not fool proof, as the report shows.
Last year, license plates could not be identified in 1.8 million Pennsylvania Turnpike riders, and there were also issues with billing.
"It's not right, it's like punishment to the people that have the E-ZPass," said driver Michael Green.
In a statement to WFMZ, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says the report does not tell the whole story. It says they collect 93 percent of their revenues, and the cashless tolling locations meet or exceed tolling industry collection standards.
"While leakage is an established part of the tolling business, as it is in any retail business model, it is something we take seriously," the commission says. "It has always been a part of tolling, even in a cash system, and we do everything we can to minimize it."
Tom Barwick, another driver we spoke to, believes he has a simple solution.
"This electronic system where they're supposed to be taking pictures and it's not working, my suggestion to the turnpike commission is they need to get the turnpike collectors back," Barwick said.