(WKBN) – One month ago, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced it would eliminate all manned tollbooths and transition to a cashless system, eliminating 500 jobs. That is not the plan in Ohio, though.
Ohio Turnpike Exit 218 was its usual busy self on Monday, with some people paying with an E-ZPass and others using tollbooth workers to pay with cash or credit cards — a hybrid process that won’t change anytime soon.
“So you might say we have 90 million reasons to continue to do that,” said Ohio Turnpike spokesperson Brian Newbacher.
Newbacher said 35% of the turnpike’s transactions are either cash or credit, which amounts to about $90 million.
“So we decided to go ahead and keep features of both. The bonus is that also, toll collectors will continue to have work at the Ohio Turnpike,” Newbacher said.
Turnpike toll collectors can make anywhere from $18-27 an hour.
“They are good jobs and we understand why people, especially those who’ve been with us for many years, would like to continue their careers here,” Newbacher said.
As far as vehicles using the turnpike, it bottomed out in mid-April with a 72% drop in passenger vehicles and an 18% drop in commercial vehicles.
This past week saw passenger vehicular traffic down 25% and commercial traffic down just 4%.
For the year, the turnpike expects to lose $42 million.
“It means we’re not currently having any new hires for positions we can wait on, and it also means delaying some capital projects to future years,” Newbacher said.
There are plans to redo the last toll plaza in Ohio leading into Pennsylvania. The plan is to allow for E-ZPass traffic to move through at turnpike speed.
It was supposed to be done at the end of 2022. Now, it won’t be done until mid-2023.