Trucking through the Keystone State is going to become a little more expensive next year.
On July 18, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 5% system-wide toll increase beginning in 2024. The commission says the new rates will take effect on Jan. 7, 2024.
“We recognize that our customers pay a premium when they choose to travel on the PA Turnpike,” PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said in a statement. “In return, we endeavor to provide a dependable, premium experience that gets our customers safely to their destinations in a timely fashion.”
Compton says the rate increase is part of the commission’s “legislative mandate to provide PennDOT supplemental funding for transit systems around the state as outlined by Act 44 of 2007.”
According to Compton, the commission borrowed nearly $8 billion by means of 30-year bonds to make the $50 million annual payment to the state outlined in the act. Because of this, the commission is, “obligated to increase tolls annually through at least 2053.”
To make that rate increase more palatable for users, the commission chose to incrementally raise tolls over that 30-year window. The multi-year plan by PTC would decrease the percentage of the increase gradually, with the goal of getting to a 3% rate increase in 2028.
“Before we ask customers to pay higher rates, we make sure that we’re keeping our costs as low as possible,” Compton said. “It’s about fiscal restraint. We budget conservatively and consistently deliver expenses at or below those numbers.”
According to the PTC, the commission ended fiscal year 2023 with estimated actual expenses that were roughly 15% below budget.
Additionally, Compton says that despite the rate hikes, the state’s turnpike E-ZPass rates for commercial vehicles – 55 cents per mile – is 12% below the national average.
A current Pennsylvania toll calculator can be found here. LL