Skip to comments.Quotables: A closer look at Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's toll-jacking
Posted on 01/13/2018 8:09:33 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Motorists frustrated by the unending cycle of toll increases by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission can take some comfort in a performance audit of the agency announced by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The latest increase, effective Sunday, boosted tolls 6 percent; it's the 10th consecutive increase in as many years. Mr. DePasquale said the audit will examine the Turnpike Commission's assertion that traffic will increase despite increased tolls. It will also look at the turnpike's annual payments to PennDOT and the commission's process for awarding construction contracts. Given the increasing toll on motorists' wallets, a closer look at turnpike operations is in order.
(Excerpt) Read more at triblive.com ...
Is there a toll road between Pittsburg and Philadelphia??
Basically the rush-hour commuters are going to get hosed big time. The government will be using the "Uber" pricing model to increase prices during peak times.
So for example, if it's normally $1.50 toll from point A to point B, during the hours of 6-10am and then from 4-8pm, that same toll may be increased to $3.75.
This will of course sock it to the working people who pay all the taxes and subsidize those laying about at home collecting welfare and food stamps (who of course, won't have to pay any tolls at all because they have no place to be).
The b**tards tried to places tolls I-80 a few years ago in PA. Thank God it failed.
They are already doing the variable pricing tolls on an expressway in the Washington, DC area. I believe it’s Interstate 66.
It’s just a matter of time before that happens everywhere.
The DC metro area has been doing that for a while now, but the pricing can be much more dramatic than in your example. Recent news reports indicated that rush hour pricing on I66 in the morning rush hour peaked at $40 one way during the most congested periods.
“The b**tards tried to places tolls I-80 a few years ago in PA. Thank God it failed.”
There are winners and losers in every tax scheme. When the plan to put tolls on I-80 failed (Republican idea), the revenue was eventually achieved through the 30 cent per gallon increase in the state gasoline tax (Democrat idea).
A good chunk of all that money goes to urban mass transit subsidies. Same for the $450 million assessed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commision annually.
The problem with these interlocking tax subsidies is that nobody really knows what they are getting for their toll/tax dollar any more.
Is it a stretch to think, that with modern technology (transponders, license plate readers, etc.), that all roads will be toll roads eventually?
Think about it. Cameras and transponder readers could be installed everywhere. Even if you are just driving on local streets to go do your grocery shopping, they would bill you for driving three miles down the road.
I travel I-80 in PA for work at least 4 or 5 times a month. I assume there would’ve been accommodations for me if it succeeded?
Speaking of gas taxes, I don’t get how so many states seem to use that money for other things besides highway and road maintenance.
I thought the idea of the gas tax is that you have a dedicated funding source for roads, and those who use the roads are buying gas and paying the tax for road maintenance.
I would love to see “truth in advertising”, so that we all know where our tax money is going.
If they want to pay for mass transit, for example, let’s talk and debate what sort of tax should pay for that purpose. We shouldn’t just siphon off gas tax money intended for roads and put it somewhere else, even if the money is going towards some other good societal benefit.
For all its flaws, a toll-based system like the one you described is the best way to deal with a road that is heavily congested during peak periods and not congested during off-peak periods.
The PA Turnpike is a great case study in the economics of travel. I travel across Pennsylvania periodically for business, and my trips usually took me on a segment of the Turnpike where the toll was started around $16 and was raised to about $19 over several years. Once the toll hit $20 I changed my route and use Interstate 80 instead. The cost of the toll has now exceeded my estimate of the value of the time I saved by using the Turnpike. To me, it's worthwhile to take an extra 20 minutes and save the $20+ toll. So the revenue they collect from me on each trip in recent years has gone from $16 to $20+ (once), then down to $0. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a similar story to tell.
In that case, I predict these "local street tolls" will meet the same fate as the downtown parking meters in many towns. They were taken away because local merchants saw them as a disincentive for customers to do business there.
The latter was signed into law by Republican governor Tom Corbett.
Each toll gantry on I-80 (all-electronic tolling) would have been located 20 miles from the nearest other gantry on either side, and the first toll gantry a driver passed through after entering I-80 wouldn’t have counted. This would have kept local traffic from being gouged.
ok interesting-—I live near Lewisburg in PA.
There’s a Shuster in the woodpile, somewhere.
Interesting. Oklahoma just raised it’s pike fees, also. One pays a toll fee no matter which direction one goes from Tulsa,
It's almost as if the police departments target the working people because they know that they have money. It's not a safety thing but a revenue generating thing.
As a working person, I am getting soaked from all corners to support the millions upon millions of able-bodied people who only have to sit at home all day and binge-watch Netflix.
It's absolutely true. Millions upon millions of people do not have to get up in the morning to work and we working people pay for it.
I'm in my mid-50s and I have not been unemployed since I was 14. My current workday routine is up at 4:45am and I don't get home until close to 8pm. I do make a lot of money but a large amount of it goes to pay for those who never work at all. It seems very unfair.
Your general sentiment is fine. I just don’t see how that applies to tolls on a highway. Imagine how great this country would be if every public service or amenity was financed by the people who actually use it. I would love to see every parent with kids in public schools get a bill at the beginning of every school year, for example.
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