By Brittany Tressler
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission plans to remove the 76 toll plazas and toll collectors along the 545-mile stretch of road spanning the Commonwealth, opting instead for an All-Electronic Tolling system.
“We fully expect we will be converted to an all-electronic system by 2018,” Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFabo said, according to the PA Independent.
All-electronic tolling would require the construction of an overhead toll gantry on the turnpike or on entrance and exit ramps and turnpike spurs, according to a feasibility study.
For motorists traveling without E-ZPass, a camera would capture the vehicle’s license plate and a bill would be mailed to the registered owner.
“When we covert to all-electronic tolling, those (non-E-ZPass) vehicles are going to be post-billed, so the commission, in order to not risk revenue loss, is going to want to increase E-ZPass usage so more people are paying,” DeFabo said.
Before moving to electronic system, the turnpike is embarking on a marketing campaign to increase E-ZPass use to 85 percent of turnpike travelers; currently 70 percent of turnpike drivers use E-ZPass.
Reasoning for implementing the all-electronic system includes safety, less delay for travelers, elimination of backups at tollbooths, a “greener” approach and a reduction in “footprint,” and reduced operating costs.
For more on the conversion, visit the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Web site.