Shocker: Ridiculously HIGH turnpike tolls in Pennsylvania

Posted By on November 24, 2014

penna_turnpikeWe’ve driven the PA turnpike several times in the past, although the last trip traveling the full length was probably close to a decade ago, but the 2014 tolls structure gives a new meaning to the term “highway robbery.”

This past weekend, my wife drove to Philadelphia from Cincinnati for a bridal shower and thought she had enough cash to pay the tolls (they don’t take credit cards) … but she did not. I can’t believe how much it now cost to drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike … residents in that state should be ashamed.

A westbound trip across the entire 359-mile east-west Turnpike next year will increase by $1.90, to $39.90 for cash payments, and by $1.36, to $28.60, for E-ZPass users.

Going eastbound, tolls will increase by $2.20, to $46.10, and by $1.57, to $32.95, respectively.



  • Aaron

    Uncle Rich!

    As an intermittent Pennsylvanian my gut reaction is to defend the turnpike, but, alas, I cannot! It is just plain awful in quality (the western portion, though improving, may be one of the worst roads to drive!) and price. I would just take 80, but that is a nonsensical option for you in Cincinnati. You could, as googlemaps suggests, take 70 across to Baltimore and then 95 up to Philly. It would not cost you that much time, but I do not recommend it because there are some serious bridge and tunnel tolls that you would have to deal with. My recommendation is to get E-ZPass, which I cannot believe you (or she) do not have?!?

    PS – it was really great that Aunt Brenda made that trip!

    • Ah … my loyal nephew commenter and blog reader! 🙂 I’m glad Brenda made the trip too. Jackie was very appreciative.

      I just couldn’t believe how high turnpike tolls are in Pennsylvania! Then again, I can’t believe how high taxes (income, property, school, sales, etc) and other govt fees are in many states? I suppose if you live in a heavily taxed and high fee area (Chicago, IL) that you become immune … but the older I get the less in touch I am with the increasing amount of money government tentacles continue to demand. (tolls and user fees are even worse for those of lessor means – pretty regressive)

      Thanks again for leaving a comment. See you at the wedding.

  • A follow up to the Turnpike Toll Temper Tantrum:
    I failed to mention that after after my wife ran out of cash returning from Philadelphia, they made a copy of her driver’s license and sent her a ticket by mail. She reluctantly, but dutifully paid the ticket and scribbled a complaint about “not having a toll booth when she entered the turnpike in Philly” (I wasn’t surprised at the ticket, just still in shocked at the size of the tolls).
    After paying we thought that would the the last we would hear from PA … but in the mail arrived a check from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for $12.95. They removed the penalty and charged only the amount as if she picked up a ticket at the booth. Nice touch … but the tolls are still too high.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.