PennDOT panel to look at plan for Route 422 tolls

    The head of a panel designed to find ways to fund repairs to Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges says tolls could be the most reliable way to go.

    PennDOT’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission will hear a presentation Monday on the possibility of tolling Route 422 in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties.

    The 30-member commission set up by Gov. Tom Corbett looks for ways to pay for transportation improvements across the state.

    PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said tolling would provide a steady stream of income, but it can’t be used on many busy highways.

    “Tolling certainly is mileage-based. It doesn’t matter whether your car is electric, fuel cell, or gasoline or diesel. It all gets charged the same way,” Schoch explained. “So that’s a possibility in the future, but there are federal laws that restrict that, especially on our interstate systems, so unless they change that won’t be a part of the immediate future.”

    Schoch says the commission is looking for plans that will generate $2.5 million in recurring revenue over four or five years.

    Schoch, who said the commission has been instructed not to look at increasing the gas tax, said if nothing is done to find more money, the department may have to close bridges and roadways as they fall into serious disrepair.

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