Pa. Turnpike to Eliminate Toll Plazas and Cash Payments

Plans are in the works to make the Pennsylvania Turnpike all electronic and get rid of toll plazas


Officials are planning a dramatic conversion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to all electronic tolling with no more toll plazas or cash payments in about five years.

Turnpike Commission officials told state lawmakers that the project is the most ambitious of its kind in the nation.

Instead of driving through toll plazas, vehicles will pass beneath sensors that will automatically deduct tolls from E-Z Pass accounts or photograph license plates so a bill can be sent to the owner.

In July, the commission hired a contractor -- HNTB Corp., a Missouri company with five offices including one in Harrisburg -- to move forward with the plans to convert to an all-electronic tolling system that would eliminate the use of cash along the 545-mile route, according to a Pennlive.com report.

It costs more than $67 million a year to staff toll plazas and that cost is projected to rise to $77 million by 2014. 

Meanwhile, turnpike tolls will increase in January.

John Fox November 18, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I just went to South Carolina, I hope that every state does this, traffic backed up at every toll plaza, even in the ez pass only lanes. Yank out the toll booths and go full electronic like the ez pass express lane at the northeast extension!
Harry Piels November 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
But where will the policiticans find jobs for their buddies?
Andrew Wilt November 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Would it not make more sense to fund the Turnpike a different way and do without tolls altogether? (Why are Route 78 and Route 81 and many other roads free?) Talk about saving money! No equipment to maintain, no personnel to process all the tolls, no postage, no trees to cut down for the bills and the envelopes, no Big Brother spying on our every move, no overly paid members of the Turnpike Commission, etc..
tracystough November 18, 2012 at 05:38 PM
that's funny:)
Bernardo November 18, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Sounds good to me. I had the same thought as I was reading the article. How about funding our current toll roads with a soda tax? Or maybe a tax on the upper 1%? Or maybe a tax on cat owners? Or maybe a tax on ________?
Barbara Scherer November 18, 2012 at 08:18 PM
More jobs lost in PA!
Tanya Bryant November 19, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Barbara I know! I heard some people lost their jobs at the buggy whip factory too. Really? More over paid state workers with bloated pensions and benefits will have to find real jobs.
Ben Miller November 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM
That's pretty harsh, Tanya. It's the holiday season and a lot of good people just learned they will soon be out of jobs. You judgmentally lump them all into a category, which you call, "Over paid state workers with bloated pensions and benefits," yet I would venture to guess you have never met one of these folks. How about you try something new here and show a little bit of compassion. Technology is constantly evolving and altering our society. Who knows, maybe one day you too, will find yourself made obsolete. Should that happen, I hope that you are treated with more dignity than you have shown these workers.
JBW1984 November 20, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Not surprising coming from Ms. Bryant....just look at all her posts and she's bashing someone somewhere. And, well put Ben.
Don January 06, 2013 at 01:44 PM
If it takes PennDot as long to implement electronic tolling as it does for them to fix the roads as they are now, the toll collectors will have their jobs for a long time to come..... By the way -- I know Tanya - she has "problems", so cut her some slack.....
Tim January 06, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Going electronic is the way to go, Pa should have been implementing this long ago. 77mil a year just to staff is ridiculous, the salaries / benefits of these types of low skilled jobs is not warranted, high school grads or GED equivalency making this much money, true union mentality here with a touch of political "who you know" and nepatism. Going electronic will require less laborers, middle management and bloated benefit costs. But it should provide better paying jobs for people in fields of electronics, variuos engineering. We can't keep setting ourselves back due to "this is the way we always do things" mentality, or feel obligated to keep very low skilled, higher paid jobs in place because of past history of mis-management, union greed and political corruption.
Barbara Scherer January 06, 2013 at 07:45 PM
I'm not saying they're not overpaid; they may or may not be. I'm saying that there will be more in the unemployment lines which we taxpayers will have to pay for! Personally I wouldn't want the job sitting in a toll booth and inhaling all those fumes from the traffic!
Jennifer Moyer May 27, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Don, Do you really know Tanya? It seems you are from Western PA and she is from Eastern PA. If you do know her what is her real name? Thanks.
Joe Sommers May 27, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Well said. Tim...Same holds true for the the Privatization of the Liquor stores. Pennsylvania will truly help balance their budgets by going electronic at the Toll and privatizing the Liquor stores.The current Republican led house and Senate will get this done.The Democrats do not support nor would they get these huge issues resolved. Their past majority has proven they cannot.They Democrats in the PA House and Senate need to go.
Joe Sommers May 27, 2013 at 04:24 PM
If I were a toll taker I would be educating/training myself to work in another industry .Same hold true with the clerks that are members of UFCW 1776 that work in the Liquor stores. these folks need to understand that the tax payers can no longer fund their high cost pensions and benefits. Its their repsonsibility to train/educate themselves for a brighter future....NOT THE TAXPAYER. I was a past member of UFCW 1776 and decided many years ago that what they had to offer was not my idea of the better life therefore feel no remorse for those CHOOSING to stay in that that kind of work.


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