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COVID-19 causes PA Turnpike to go cashless

Turnpike officials stop the exchange of cash at tolls during the pandemic.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Officials with the Turnpike Commission announced Monday, March 16, that starting at 8 p.m., you will not be able to use cash along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Officials say it is a temporary safety measure to keep travelers from stopping at toll booths during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"This temporary measure is critical to enable us to support the Commonwealth in its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "I want to be clear that we will return to normal toll-collection operations as soon as it becomes practical."

All tolls will be accessed electronically by using E-ZPass or the PA turnpike "TOLL BY PLATE" program. The "TOLL BY PLATE" option is where high-speed cameras take a picture of your license plate as you pass through the tolls. The registered owner of the vehicle will then receive an invoice in the mail within 30 days. You can pay that bill online, by phone, or by mail. Customers who use this option will be charged the "cash" toll rate.

Officials caution drivers that they should be prepared for possible confusion around the toll plaza areas while people adjust to the temporary change. 

A: All-Electronic Tolling (AET) means no stopping at toll booths, an... d no paying with cash (OR credit card!) while driving the . Instead, customers pay using an E-ZPass transponder mounted in their car. OR our cameras will take a photo of the car's license plate, and a Toll by Plate invoice will be mailed to the registered owner.