HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pa. Turnpike Commission (PTC) delivered its final $450 million payment to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for transit systems around the state.
As mandated by Act 44 of 2007, PTC was required to provide PennDOT with $450 million annually for highways, bridges and public transit. Because of this, PTC has been forced to raise toll rates for 11 straight years to be able to fund PennDOT.
Before the enactment of Act 44 of 2007, the PTC raised tolls only six times in 64 years. Toll dollars met only the needs of the toll system as originally intended. After the enactment of Act 44, the Turnpike was forced to raise tolls from 2009 onward and take on stifling debt.
“Today we are making our last annual payment of $450 million to PennDOT,” PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said, in a press release. “This marks our final major payment to PennDOT, but it also marks our next, unburdened, step into our financial future,” he continued.
Under the updated Act 89 of 2013, the PTC payment will drop from $450 million annually to $50 million at the end of the fiscal year. When this begins, $450 million for transit will come from the state’s General Fund. Lawmakers will have to address this shift in the next state budget, explained Deputy Secretary Granger.
“While we regularly outpace national standards in safety, quality, and mobility, this became extremely challenging under the financial obligation mandated by Act 44 which caused us to defer adding new capacity including more lanes and new interchanges,” Chief Engineer Heigel said, in a press release.
More information on the PTC map for financial planning can be found on their website.
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