PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2014/10/18: E-Z Pass toll both. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images) HARRISBURG, Pa. - The amount of uncollected tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike grew by nearly 50% last year, and a new government audit is urging the Turnpike Commission to address the problem and make changes to improve its finances.Following up on an internal study that said more than $104 million in tolls went uncollected last year, an update in May found the amount had grown to $155 million.
Nearly $1.5 billion in tolls was paid or expected to be paid during the one-year period from April 2021 to March of this year.Losses had been anticipated after the turnpike converted to all-cash collections in 2020, laying off hundreds of toll collectors and auditors.
Many vehicles have E-ZPass, a device that collects toll information and charges drivers. Although turnpike cameras read license plates of vehicles without E-ZPass and send bills to their owners, there are problems with obscured or faded plates, camera system failures and getting money from scofflaw drivers.The increase in the cost of free rides in the past year, however, has largely been driven by more turnpike traffic and higher tolls, turnpike officials reported.
The losses represent some 6.5% of all transactions.In a written response, turnpike chief executive Mark Compton said his agency was "actively engaged with the Legislature, the PA State Police and surrounding toll agencies to ensure we are taking all possible measures to collect."The auditor general's office said this week the turnpike board should rein in or end free rides on the 565-mile toll road system for its own employees and contractors, even when they are off duty.MORE LOCAL HEADLINESThe.