E-ZPass and truck discounts coming to Ohio Turnpike

| Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Truckers who have E-ZPass toll accounts will see a slight decrease in tolls when E-ZPass goes live on the Ohio Turnpike in late 2009, officials said.

The Ohio Turnpike approved a plan Monday, Nov. 17, to incorporate E-ZPass discounts for heavy trucks into a plan to increase tolls for passenger vehicles and all cash-paying customers in 2009 and again in 2012.

Ohio Turnpike Executive Director George Distel said the toll plan is about increasing revenue in a tough economy while keeping heavy trucks on the turnpike.

“Obviously, we’re trying to incentivize the use of E-ZPass and also encourage the heavy trucks to use the turnpike and discourage them from using roads that run parallel to the turnpike, so that’s the idea behind reducing the rates slightly for the heavier trucks,” told Land Line Now on XM Satellite Radio.

Distel said the commission hopes to have E-ZPass up and running by the fourth quarter of 2009.

Between now and then, the commission will have three public hearings regarding the proposed rate changes. Commissioners hope to sign off on the new rates by March 2009, Distel said.

A turnpike spokeswoman said the current truck toll for a 240-mile trip on the turnpike is $33.50. When E-ZPass goes live, truckers with E-ZPass accounts will pay $32 for the same trip, while truckers paying cash will pay $40.

Passenger-vehicle tolls are schedule to increase under the plan, but will not be as steep for E-ZPass account holders.

Click here for more information. Scheduled public hearings are:

  • 6:30 p.m., Dec. 10, City of Toledo, One Government Center, Toledo, OH;
  • 6:30 p.m., Dec. 16, Boardman Administration Building, 8299 Market St., Youngstown, OH; and
  • 11 a.m., Jan. 12, 2009, Commission Administrative Building, 682 Prospect St., Berea, OH.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission is also accepting public comments via e-mail at toll.comments@ohioturnpike.org, or by regular mail or fax at the following address and phone number:

Ohio Turnpike Commission
Attn: Public Affairs Department
682 Prospect St.
Berea, OH 44017

Fax: 440-234-3881

– By David Tanner, staff writer
david_tanner@landlinemag.com

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