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Pa. Turnpike tolls going up more for some, less for others

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 04 2013 03:55:13 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 04 2013 04:21:16 PM CST

Another year brings with it another hike in tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Another year brings with it another hike in tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  

Get out more change because driving on the turnpike is going to cost you more starting this weekend. Come Sunday, tolls are going up 10 percent if you're paying in cash, but only two percent for E-ZPass users.

"It doesn't really bother me a whole lot," shared driver James Curtis. "I see a lot of work is obviously being done on the turnpike constantly, and I understand that the tolls go to that."

This is the third year in a row the tolls have been raised.  Using E-ZPass will now save you 25 percent compared to folks paying cash.

"I think it's great," smiled Kelly Gottenmoller.  "I don't know why more people don't have E-ZPass."

"I would assume that more people are going to be using E-ZPass then," said Sharon Zabresky.

And the savings add up. For example, if you drive from the Lehigh Valley interchange to the Philadelphia area's mid-county exit, the toll will be $4.00 in cash but only $3.04 with E-ZPass.

"I see long lines still of people paying with cash and I think E-ZPass is just going to be really advantageous for everybody," added Curtis.

E-ZPass has been available for a dozen years in the commonwealth.  

The Turnpike Commission said 68 percent of Pennsylvania travelers have E-ZPass.  The group told 69 News the toll increase will generate about $25 million this year to pay for turnpike improvements.  The money also goes to pay PennDOT for public transit and repairs to roads and bridges across the state.

"I just hope that they appropriate the funds that they will be getting from this increase in the correct way," shared Zabresky.

Over the next five years, the Turnpike Commission will be implementing a completely cash-less system, so it might be a good time to think about ditching the coins. E-ZPasses are available at kiosks at service plazas along the turnpike, at stores like Walmart and Wegmans, and online.