Tolls on the Pennsylvania turnpike will increase for a sixth consecutive year next year.
The Turnpike Commission will continue to drive motorists toward E-ZPass with its latest toll hike. Motorists who pay with cash will see a 12 percent rate increase in 2014, while customers who pay electronically will only face a hike of two percent.
The annual toll increases are not unexpected.
Spokesman Carl DeFebo says the Turnpike Commission is required to transfer $450 million a year to PennDOT for statewide transportation projects.
“As a matter of fact, Act 44, which was passed in 2007, did call for annual toll increases. And the Turnpike Commission started those annual increases back in 2009, and we’ve been making payments since 2007,” he said.
The Turnpike has $4.3 billion in outstanding Act 44 debt, and DeFebo says the commission supports a transportation bill that would modify its obligations under the law.
The state Senate Transportation Committee will examine the Turnpike’s financial status and reform efforts at a Capitol hearing Tuesday.