Toll increases the alternative to privatizing Ohio Turnpike

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Ohio Turnpike Commission plans to increase tolls by just about 3 percent each of the next 10 years to pay off revenue bonds. The program to issue $1.5 billion in bonds and increase tolls emerged late last year as an alternative to Gov. John Kasich’s proposal that would have leased the turnpike to private investors.

Commissioners are planning to have three public hearings in May to discuss the increases and conduct a vote. One meeting that was initially planned for May 6 in Boardman Township has been moved to May 8.

Documents show that tolls would increase 2.7 percent each Jan. 1 starting in 2014 and lasting through 2023. After that, toll increases will be tied to the rate of inflation.

According to the turnpike’s rate schedule, a five-axle truck currently pays $30 with E-ZPass or $39 without E-ZPass to drive the entire 241-mile trip across Ohio.

A 2.7 percent increase on Jan. 1, 2014, would increase those tolls to $30.81 and $40.05 respectively. The following year, tolls would increase to $31.64 and $41.13 respectively. And so on.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission confirmed three public hearings on the plan. They are:
5:30 p.m., May 8, Boardman Administration Building, 8299 Market St., Boardman Township.
5:30 p.m., May 13, Maumee Municipal Building, 400 Conant St., Maumee.
11 a.m., May 20, Ohio Turnpike Commission Administrative Building, 682 Prospect St., Berea.

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