Skip to comments.Pennsylvania Turnpike to become nation's costliest toll road
Posted on 07/17/2010 8:56:06 AM PDT by Willie Green
E-ZPass customers will get price break over those paying cash
A toll increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in January likely will make it the most expensive long toll road in the nation.
The turnpike commission on Wednesday approved a 3 percent increase for users of E-ZPass electronic fare collection and 10 percent for cash customers, effective Jan. 2.
That will raise the cash cost of driving the turnpike to 8.5 cents per mile, highest of the 11 U.S. toll roads of 100 miles or longer. Currently, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes are tied at 7.7 cents per mile.
Shorter toll facilities, including highway spurs and bridges, typically have higher per-mile costs. A March survey by the Pennsylvania Turnpike found 10 facilities with per-mile rates of 27.8 cents or more, including a 6-mile highway in California whose users pay 45.8 cents per mile.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike has ascended to the top among longer toll roads largely because of a 2007 state law requiring it to help fund non-turnpike transportation programs. Since then, the turnpike has given the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation $2.5 billion to pay for highway and bridge work and mass transit.
That amount is the equivalent of more than three years' worth of turnpike toll income. The turnpike took in $700 million last year.
The law, Act 44, envisioned a stream of revenue from higher turnpike tolls and new tolls on Interstate 80 flowing from the commission to PennDOT.
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
Higher than that one in Florida? I don’t remember the name or number of the road.
The one in FL might not be 100 miles long.
“Shorter toll facilities, including highway spurs and bridges, typically have higher per-mile costs. A March survey by the Pennsylvania Turnpike found 10 facilities with per-mile rates of 27.8 cents or more, including a 6-mile highway in California whose users pay 45.8 cents per mile.”
I paid about $1/mile in Colorado on the E470 toll a few months ago. I was only on the road 1 mile in each direction. Perhaps they charge more for very short uses of the road.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is the Helen Thomas of the interstate highway system.
They ARE working on it. It is the oldest Interstate in the US, and they have NEVER stopped working on it.
I am convinced that is actually a PA jobs program.
The irony, of course, is that the higher tolls were imposed to subsidize the sort of mass transit projects which tickle your toes so; and yet, with artificially high tolls and artificially low mass transit fares, free people still choose to drive their own cars.
Oh, I remember well those trips from New Jersey to Detroit in the 60’s going through those tunnels on the PA turnpike. Blue Mountain, Kittatinny Mtn, Ray’s Hill....and those colonial flavored Howard Johnsons with the worst food imaginable. And yes, toll booths very often! And they weren’t cheap, they were a few bucks a crack IIRC when a few bucks was actual money. I guess, with my Dad paying the tolls, it seemed like a model of efficient, modern, open-road driving. With me paying the tolls, it’d probably create a different impression. All those tunnels on the original route are abandoned now, they were cheaper to bypass than to enlarge. Perhaps that’s the story of *all* of our arteries?
The beauty of the turnpike is that you don’t have to take the turnpike to get where you want to go. There are others roads that get you to the destination.
With either gasoline taxes or tolls, users of roads pay for the roads. Nothing new, except for questions about how efficiently, or not, the PA Turnpike Authority does its job.
One could also ask how much the politicians demand that the Turnpike Authority pad its payrolls or add “construction” projects without merit.
Other than that, I have no problem with toll roads, in general. At least, in concept, the toll is specific to the user.
“Higher than that one in Florida? I dont remember the name or number of the road.”
I don’t know about the one in FLA. I do know that all of this is a waste of money though. The PA turnpike is probably one of the worst roads out there. It’s in a constant state of mess. For those my age, it is like playing a real live version of Moon Patrol (early 80s video game).
Fortunately, there is a sunset clause on these tax/toll increases. I think they are all supposed to expire in 1970 or something ... I wouldn’t worry too much about that. ;-).
Ya gotta love the “Slow Down, My Mommy Works Here” sign.
This would have been my guess as top toll fee road. Used it several years ago, going from I25 NE to I40 to bypass the horrible Denver traffic. Seems every couple miles there was another tool booth and another $ toll.
No - yet another reason to avoid Pennsyltucky and drive through Maryland...
Pennsylvania got screwed with I-80. It was built with federal money, but the state was mandated to maintain it. Back in the late 70's, under Governor Milton Shapp, it started to deteriorate badly and the state practically went bankrupt rebuilding it. It was a very hot political issue, and it ruined Shapp, who wanted to make it a toll road then.
So, Interstates 68, 70, 78, 79, 80 and 81 and some good state highways might see some additional traffic, from those that can, and chose to, avoid the turnpike or some part of it that they might otherwise have used - if the diversion is worth any toll-cost savings.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.