HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Some lawmakers believe Turnpike prices should be even for EZ-Pass and non-EZ-Pass drivers.
Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-York) explained, “You have many people that don’t have an easy pass, right? That are going to use the Turnpike and they’re just not and some of it is age, some of it is ignorance.”
Driving from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia costs $34.70 for EZ-Pass drivers, but non-EZ-Pass drivers have to pay $70.80. Although taking the same Turnpike the non-EZ Pass driver is billed more than double the EZ-Pass rate.
Rep. Mary Isaacson (D-Philadelphia) said, “We need to get some uniformity going with regard to how people are charged.”
Isaacson supports House Bill 516 which would stop the turnpike from charging Pennsylvanians more for toll by plate than it does EZ-Pass customers.
The Turnpike argues that they have to charge more because it costs them more to locate, bill, and collect from the non-EZ-Pass customers.
“But they’re saving a ton of money because they have no toll collectors now. No benefits, no pensions, nothing. They got rid of that whole layer of a cost. So I’m sorry, I’m just not buying it,” said Keefer.
According to the Turnpike, last year $171 million in tolls were ignored by drivers which factors into the toll-by-plate rates.
“Obviously, I think that things should be fair. I don’t think that people should be paying extra. But I also don’t like people who don’t pay their bills,” explained Isaacson.
We are told by the Turnpike that EZ-Pass rates would need to increase to make up the difference for everyone to pay the same.
“Your pocketbook is getting hammered at the grocery store to stay to date, cost of living and you’re going to hammer those who have to use the Turnpike,” Keefer said.
The Turnpike says 86% of its customers now have E-Z Pass.