Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls increasing 25 percent on Sunday

| 1/2/2009

Operators of Class 8 trucks traveling the full length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike will pay an extra $35 in tolls starting on Sunday, Jan. 4.

Officials said a scheduled 25 percent toll increase takes effect at 12:01 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 4.

Turnpike officials say the increase is justified because it is anticipated to generate an additional $119.2 million per year, bringing annual turnpike revenue to $738.4 million.

Current transportation law in Pennsylvania, known as Act 44, allows turnpike revenue to be used for other statewide transportation needs including roads, bridges and mass transit.

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believe Act 44 should be repealed and that toll revenue should not be siphoned away for mass transit projects. Act 44 is also the law that gave Pennsylvania officials a crack at tolling Interstate 80. As of the end of 2008, that bid has been unsuccessful.

The maximum toll for truckers traveling 358 miles from the Ohio border to the Delaware River Bridge on the turnpike’s main line will be $175 and an extra $18.75 at the Gateway Toll Plaza, up from the current rate of $140 on the main line and $15 at the Gateway plaza.

Tolls are guaranteed to increase 3 percent each year under Act 44.

– By David Tanner, staff writer