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Pennsylvania Turnpike plans higher tolls

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is raising its rates by 5 percent in January.

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. — If you thought you were paying a lot when you drive through a Turnpike tollbooth, just wait.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is raising its rates by 5 percent in January.

"Inflation has just gone completely ridiculous, so with it going ridiculous, everything's going to go up one way or another. So, we just have to pay the cost because everything gets pushed off to the regular work," said a driver named Anthony from Allentown.

The average cost for a passenger vehicle next year will increase from a $1.70 to $1.80 for E-ZPass customers and $4.10 to $4.40 for Toll By Plate customers.

Anthony from Allentown delivers packages for a living and says he uses E-ZPass because it's cheaper.

"I'm an independent contractor, so I'm obligated to make sure I take care of all those things, so it's pretty tough," Anthony said.

The Turnpike Commission says E-ZPass drivers will continue to receive the lowest discount, saving nearly 60 percent as opposed to those using toll by plate. But drivers we spoke with say that doesn't mean they're going to get on the road anytime soon.

"This is getting ridiculous. Everything keeps going up, and the Turnpike's not that handy," Kenneth Shiffer of Kresgeville said.

Turnpike officials say the increase in tolls is to meet financial obligations, as well as maintain and improve roads.

Shiffer says he stopped using the Turnpike years ago.

"We used to go up to above the end of the Turnpike, up by Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and if you towed a small two-wheel trailer, it was ridiculous," Shiffer said. "We stopped using the Turnpike."

The new 5 percent rate increase goes into effect on January 8, 2023.

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