Turnpike approves toll increase of 5 percent for 2015

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on Tuesday approved a 5 percent toll increase for cash and E-ZPass customers effective in January, the seventh consecutive annual increase.

Driving the increases is a requirement enacted by the Legislature in 2007 that the turnpike pay $450 million per year to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for uses away from the toll road.

For the first time in five years, the commission is raising cash and electronically collected tolls by the same percentage. In the past four years, cash payers were hit with annual double-digit percentage increases while E-ZPass tolls were increased a total of 7 percent. As a result, paying with cash costs about 40 percent more than using the electronic system.

About three-quarters of turnpike drivers use E-ZPass.

A westbound trip across the entire 359-mile turnpike mainline will increase by $1.90, to $39.90, for cash users and by $1.36, to $28.60, for customers who use E-ZPass. Going eastbound, tolls will increase by $2.20, to $46.10, for those paying in cash and $1.57, to $32.95, for E-ZPass.

A trip from Monroeville to Breezewood would increase by 65 cents, to $13.25, for cash payers and by 45 cents, to $9.42, for those using E-ZPass.

With the next increase, which takes effect Jan. 4, tolls for cash payers will have more than doubled since the start of 2009. E-ZPass customers will be paying 45 percent more than before the increases.

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