Image via MONTCO Today File Photo.
With employee costs down, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is on track to meet its projection to reduce the annual toll hike from its current 6 percent to 5 percent starting in January, writes Ed Blazina for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Last spring, the turnpike laid off over 500 toll collection agents and office personnel more than a year ahead of schedule when it switched to all-electronic tolling. This process was sped up due to the pandemic.
As a result of these and additional cost savings that include refinancing of $600 million worth of bonds from variable rates to a fixed rate, the agency is now able to vote in July to bring the toll hike down by one percent.
“I don’t believe it’s going to have to be 6% this year,” said Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton.
Before the start of the pandemic, the PA turnpike had projected it could start reducing the toll hike from 6 percent in 2022 to 3 percent by 2028. The 3 percent annual increase will most likely continue through 2050.
Read more about the Pennsylvania Turnpike toll hike and increase in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.