HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) announced March 16 that as a temporary safety measure, cash will not be accepted at any interchange. The policy was enacted as a means of keeping travelers moving with no need to stop at tollbooths or interact with tolling personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the policy is in effect, cash and credit cards will not be accepted anywhere on the Turnpike’s ticket system. All tolls will be assessed electronically via E-ZPass or the state turnpike’s toll-by-plate program as vehicles travel at posted speed limits through tolling points.
“This temporary measure is critical to enable us to support the Commonwealth in its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Mark Compton, Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO. “I want to be clear that we will return to normal toll-collection operations as soon as it becomes practical.”
Customers who do not have an E-ZPass account should continue to use lanes marked “Tickets” on entry and “Cash” on exit; however they should keep moving through the lane at the posted speed without stopping. Instead of paying their toll on the roadway, they will receive a toll-by-plate invoice through the mail. With the toll-by-plate option, high-speed cameras capture license-plate images as vehicles pass by. The registered owner of each vehicle receives an invoice within 30 days for trips made through each tolling point. Invoices can be paid online, by phone or by mail.
Customers who receive a toll-by-plate invoice will be charged the “cash” toll rate. However, when paying their invoice, they will have the option to open an E-ZPass account to receive the discounted rate at time of payment. Customers will have 20 days to pay an invoice before a second invoice is issued. If the first invoice is not paid, the second invoice will include an additional fee of $5 or the equivalent of 1.5% of the total amount owed, whichever is higher.
Cash tolls will still be in place on the Mon-Fayette Expressway (PA Turnpike 43) via the current automated payment machines.
All customers should be prepared for possible confusion around the toll plaza areas as drivers adjust to the temporary measure. Drivers should slow down when approaching a tolling point or interchange, pay attention and proceed with caution.
Additionally, all service plazas along the turnpike are limiting services to gasoline and convenient stores. All restaurants and public restrooms inside the service plazas are temporarily closed; however, portable toilets are available for use by the public.
For more information on operational changes due to further COVID-19 guidance, visit www.paturnpike.com.