A toll increase was approved Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC).

An increase of 5% will be effective starting Jan. 2, 2022 and will affect the majority of the turnpike system, excluding only the Southern Beltway just west of Pittsburgh.

"Today's action is the first time in six years that the rate of increase is under 6%," said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "Starting in July 2022, our transit funding requirement to PennDOT under Act 44 of 2007 will be cut to $50 million annually. Finally, we are seeing a light at the end of this very long tunnel. In addition to breathing a huge sigh of relief ourselves, it enables us to begin to offer some relief to customers from those heftier toll increases and refocus on essential improvements to our roadway."

Pennsylvania Act 44 is responsible for funding transportation in the commonwealth.

Since the Act was signed in 2007, the PTC has paid $450 million annually to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).  This year will be the last; starting in 2022, the PTC will only have to pay $50 million to PennDOT. This will continue through 2057. Pennsylvania will make up for the difference through motor vehicle sales.

Despite the lessened burden on the PTC, the 5% toll increase is still necessary due to the cost of operating the turnpike in Pennsylvania and paying down debt.  Funds will also aid in road repairs. These increases won't stop any time soon. However, they will continue to lower the percentage of increase.

With the changes announced today, a typical passenger vehicle will increase from $3.90 to $4.10. A passenger vehicle with E-ZPass will increase from $1.60 to $1.70.  

Those with an E-ZPass will continue to receive lower toll rates. Drivers without an E-ZPass can still save by using the PA TOLL PAY app to set up an autopay account, which gives a 15% discount.

The rate for a Class-5 tractor-trailer will increase from $26.60 to $28, and $13 to $13.70 for E-ZPass users.

"It's important for customers to understand that, even with the reduced obligation, we are still looking at annual toll increases of 5% from through 2025, 4% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027, then 3% annually from 2028 to 2050."