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Pennsylvania legislators propose new tolling structure

Posted: August 1, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Looking for ways to adequately fund Pennsylvania’s transportation systems, three of the state’s legislators have suggested a new toll system.

The tolling scheme, according to reports in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, would include a $5 fee for trucks and a $1 fee for passenger vehicles.

In response to Pennsylvania’s transportation funding problems, Gov. Ed Rendell asked the General Assembly to help him develop a plan to come up with adequate funding. The state has proposed tolls on Interstate 80 three times, with the federal government rejecting the third proposal last month.

In the U.S., tolls to interstate highways have to be dedicated to improve that specific highway. Pennsylvania’s plan, however, called for the income from the tolls to be spread around the state, and so it was rejected.

This latest proposal however, calls for the tolls to be collected where vehicles enter and leave the state and would be allocated to that particular road, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. This would include I-79 in western Pennsylvania, I-90 in northwestern Pennsylvania, I-80 in the north, I-95 in the Philadelphia area, and on I-78 and I-84 in the east.

Gov. Rendell said the federal government’s third rejection created an immediate need for $472 million in next year’s budget and a $60 billion hole over the life of Act 44, the 2007 transportation funding law that was enacted with widespread bipartisan support. It called for tolling I-80 as well as annual toll increases on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The new tolling structure, if accepted, is estimated to generate between $235 million and $300 million a year.

— With files from

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