HARISBURG (KDKA) – Take at least an extra penny if you drive on the Pennsylvania Freeway in January … and another penny a year later, and another penny a year later, and so on and so forth.
The highway has been accumulating debt in the form of bonds for a number of years thanks to the PennDOT Legislation Directive to pay for public transportation funding across the state.
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“Later this month, the highway plans to make a final payment to the Commonwealth of $ 450 million,” said PT Turnpike spokesman Carl Defeb.
But, and it’s great, but … “We’re not exactly because of this funding commitment,” says DeFeba.
“We will continue to pay $ 50 million a year, it will be funded in cash.”
So the highway will no longer need to be borrowed to make a large payment, but it still has to pay off the money it borrowed … “About $ 7 billion in debt on bonds that have strained the highway.”
So, DeFebo says that in January the fare will increase by 5%.
“For example, from Pittsburgh, the junction to Irwin, it’s $ 1.60 now for EZPass users, and in January next year it will grow by a penny to $ 1.70,” he explains. “If you’re not an EZPass user, the price will increase from $ 3.90 to $ 4.10 for the same trip between Pittsburgh and Irvine.”
But the completion of a large payment does not mean the end of the rate hike.
“Over the next few years, it will be 5% and then gradually decline to 3%,” says DeFeba.
SEE: Will the toll on the highway decrease in the near future?
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In other words, the fare will continue to increase every year, just not so much.
In January, a trip between states with a length of highway will cost you just under $ 50 with EZPass.
Without EZPass, this interstate trip will cost your family just over $ 100.
So while the barrier may recede from a large loan each year, Defeb says a reduction in fares is not expected.
“You won’t see an immediate impact on tolls,” he says.
So will the fees ever go down?
“I’ll say not in the near future, I mean, you know, over the years, of course, they can be cut,” he says. “We understand that people are disappointed with the tariffs. All we can try to do is be very transparent about why these fees are rising. ”
And DeFeba says the bottom line is that the fare, though growing every year, won’t grow that much.
“You know, I find that with such lower growth rates it gets a little more enjoyable,” he says. “Here’s a little silver.”
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DeFeba says the bonds on which the 30-year bonds are paid.