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Old 01-02-2013, 05:51 PM
gg gg started this thread
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,751 posts, read 20,686,108 times
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Pa. Turnpike tolls to increase on Sunday | www.wpxi.com

Lets see, the turnpike has been increasing like crazy over the past several years, to the point it is wildly out of control. Oh, during much of that time they implemented Ezeepass which you would think would save money because there is no need to hire some dope to collect cash. Why is the turnpike going up so high?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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Pensions.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Are they still working on it? I think there's been construction since I moved in '82
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh
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I would actually like to see tolls flatten and a removal of the caps on fuel tax. That would at least spread the road maintanence cost over the user base a bit more evenly.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,303 posts, read 2,783,800 times
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In an effort to disguise another tax increase, our esteemed legislators require the turnpike commission to submit $450 million dollars to the state of Pennsylvania annually. So, instead of those tolls going strictly for turnpike maintenance and improvements, turnpike monies are being used for other state programs. This all started in 2007 with Act 44, and the simple economics of it all is that the turnpike commission was in significant debt to the state even before the first toll was collected on January 1st.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:27 PM
gg gg started this thread
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,751 posts, read 20,686,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retiredcoach View Post
In an effort to disguise another tax increase, our esteemed legislators require the turnpike commission to submit $450 million dollars to the state of Pennsylvania annually. So, instead of those tolls going strictly for turnpike maintenance and improvements, turnpike monies are being used for other state programs. This all started in 2007 with Act 44, and the simple economics of it all is that the turnpike commission was in significant debt to the state even before the first toll was collected on January 1st.
I guess this is just saying the system is totally broken. Constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul. Showing us all that greed at the top and all the massive government waste to give little cousin Bobby, or brother Johnny a job doing nothing is costing us all. It is way out of control. I have to say, it is really getting old. I was under the impression that Ezeepass would save money because it is electronic instead of manual. Seems that was just another ticket to make more money in the inner circle. Goodness, how much will that thing be in another 5 years? $100 to go a few exits?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Yep, the toll increases are actually to pay down bonds they had to take out to pay for the Act 44 stuff. Basically Turnpike Authority pays a big chunk to PennDOT annually. (Why there should remain two separate agencies that do the same thing is of course another matter. Somehow this just does not come up for discussion ever.) The bonds are so they didn't have to try to double the rates all at once.

Toll money was supposed to come from I-80 instead, but the feds nixed that. It basically fell to the Tunrpike Authority anyway to come up with the same amount of cash.

You do save with E-ZPass. At this point, the E-ZPass toll is about 25% less than the cash toll. But it's still going up.

If you gotta drive to Harrisburg or Philly from here, how else you gonna go? No other ways that make any sense at all. Over a barrel. BOHICA.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
1,125 posts, read 2,096,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
Yep, the toll increases are actually to pay down bonds they had to take out to pay for the Act 44 stuff. Basically Turnpike Authority pays a big chunk to PennDOT annually. (Why there should remain two separate agencies that do the same thing is of course another matter. Somehow this just does not come up for discussion ever.) The bonds are so they didn't have to try to double the rates all at once.

Toll money was supposed to come from I-80 instead, but the feds nixed that. It basically fell to the Tunrpike Authority anyway to come up with the same amount of cash.

You do save with E-ZPass. At this point, the E-ZPass toll is about 25% less than the cash toll. But it's still going up.

If you gotta drive to Harrisburg or Philly from here, how else you gonna go? No other ways that make any sense at all. Over a barrel. BOHICA.
It has gotten to the point that I am willing to drive to WV, take 68 to 70 in MD, go to Baltimore and take 95 North to Philly. If I can help it and stay at a family members near Washington PA, then I am definitely willing to take that route rather than pay out the rear to drive the turnpike, (for some reason Ohio is able to have better roads, cheaper fuel tax, and cheaper turnpike tolls, PennDot really needs reorganized due to their obvious failures)
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,926,809 times
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I actually don't want penndot to own or run the turnpike. it should be a transportation agency and putting revenue roads in its control will distort its incentives. why put money into a rail line just to divert toll money from your coffers? penndot is as well run as its ever been and duplicate management is really irrelevant considering the magnitude of the debt problem.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:59 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,500 posts, read 19,438,308 times
Reputation: 15463
The Pennsylvania Turnpike connects the two largest cities in the state. It will never go unused.

By the way, here's a picture of the Turnpike at about MM 32:



Count the lanes you see and then multiply by two.

And here are some smaller pictures of what it looks like between MM 215 and MM 220. Once again, count the lanes.

Also realize that along both segments, the roadbed has been rebuilt and is twice as thick now as it used to be. All the rebuilt segments will only need occasional resurfacing for the next 50 years.

The toll increases aren't just paying for pensions and PennDOT projects. They're also paying to upgrade the Turnpike itself, as you can see from the images above.
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