Ohio Turnpike tolls to rise in 2007

| 12/19/2006

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.