Despite opposition from Gov. Bob Taft, the Ohio Turnpike
Commission will enact a toll increase in the new year.
The commission voted Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, to increase
tolls for cars and trucks effective Jan. 1, 2007.
Tolls for Class 8 trucks will increase from $31 to $33.50
for the entire 241-mile length of the turnpike. The increase still does not put
tolls at the rate truckers paid from 1999 to 2005 when truck tolls were $42.45.
In a previous measure to shift trucks onto the turnpike and
away from roads like Ohio state Route 2, Taft signed legislation in December
2004 to lower tolls, and the $31 rate for truckers took effect in 2005.
But time passed and expenses went up for turnpike
maintenance. The commission proposed in August of this year to discuss a toll
increase, despite threats that the governor's office would intervene.
Although the turnpike commission accomplished its goal of
getting trucks back on the pike and away from other state routes - including
increased enforcement on overweight trucks on secondary roads - the cost of
maintaining the Ohio Turnpike has gone up, according to Executive Director Gary
Suhadolnik in statements made earlier this year.
A schedule of rates for all truck classes and four wheelers
is available online at ohioturnpike.org.