Expect a toll spike on the Ohio Turnpike

Travel rates going up almost 3 percent a year for next 10 years.
Andy Ouriel
Jul 18, 2013

Drivers on the Ohio Turnpike can only travel east or west. Tolls on the pay road, however, are heading north.

Ohio Turnpike commissioners recently voted to raise toll rates almost 3 percent each year for the next decade. The rate increase, beginning in January 2014, impacts people driving in either cars or trucks traveling more than 30 miles. The hike also affects anyone paying with cash, credit, debit or an E-ZPass.

A toll hike also coincides with commissioners borrowing $1 billion in new debt for major road and bridge projects throughout Ohio. The new debt adds to the $560 million existing outstanding amount the turnpike has amassed. About $70 million of this loan will pay to supplant the 241-mile toll road’s original base. The remaining funds, an unknown amount, will fix several Ohio roads and bridges that haven’t been announced yet.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich spearheaded a toll-hike plan to help start various infrastructure projects delayed for years. The infrastructure investment should generate should generate tens of thousands of construction jobs. But the benefits of increasing tolls touted by officials hardly resonates well with entrepreneurs.

Take Cameron Chandler, controller for Homan Transportation in Monroeville. Up to 60 company trucks simultaneously crisscross the East Coast and Midwest, primarily transporting milk and cream. Company truckers frequently drive on the Ohio Turnpike when, for instance, traveling to Michigan or New York.
Increased rates only complicate issue for Chandler, who can handle the situation in one of three ways:

• Absorb the additional cost, which cuts into the company’s profits.
• Charge clients more for services to help offset the hike.
• Keep trucks off toll roads — taking mostly parallel routes such as Ohio 2, U.S. 6 or U.S. 20, a move that would prolong trips.

“None of these options are attractive,” Chandler said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report

A costly trip
The Ohio Turnpike commission voted to raise toll rates in each year for the next decade.

Here are the rates for what certain people pay today, next year and when the 10-year toll-hike plan ends in 2023:

              Car w/ pass            Car w/o pass            Truck w/ pass            Truck w/o pass
Today      $11.25                   $16.50                      $35                            $44
2014       $11.50                   $17                            $36                           $45.25
2023       $14.75                   $21.50                       $45.75                      $57.50
Source: Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, Associated Press
 

Comments

Buckeye_Nation

what a ripoff, they let go of tollbooth workers and put in the ezpass system, which was supposed to be a money saver, and yet up goes the tolls, looks like other roads might be getting more busy. Boycott the turnpike

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

Didn't they just last year say they were making money ?

The Big Dog's back

Thanks kassick. Hammer the middle class as usual. Make the rich richer.

Pete

You mean they charge less for the wealthy to use the Turnpike?

I've never had to present a pay stub or 1040 and I use it twice every weekday.

The Big Dog's back

You're not wealthy either.

Pete

But I pay the same rate as everyone else. So.... how is the rate increase benefitting the wealthy?

The Big Dog's back

So you like paying for other areas roads and bridges?

Pete

I already pay for a boatload of Progressive's food and housing through my income taxes. My fuel taxes are spread across Ohio and other states.

Heck Brutus you should be happy. Government road contracts favor union contractors. Surprised you aren't dancing in your mom's basement.

crazyaide

They did not get rid of toll workers to put in EZ Pass when people retired they didn't take on any more full time toll workers.... If you're upset with what is going on with the toll hike write governor Kasich he is the reason for it.

Pterocarya frax...

Where are all the Kasich lovers to defend him now? This is all on his shoulders....taking turnpike profits to pay for road construction projects in other parts of the state.

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

What happened to the stimulus that was going to build/ fix the roads ?

Pete

Kickbacks to Obie's supporters was all the Porkulus bill was for. Nothing more.

The Big Dog's back

Facts are a terrible thing to right wingers.

kURTje

Kasick shows his colours again. Hey - he & his got their raise. "Figgers."

Don S

After this rise in the toll, your governor will bring up selling or leasing the turnpike out to a private company. Just like he suggested last year. It's a ploy to anger Ohio residence into doing his bidding.

eriemom

In either scenario, lease/sale or put in debt, the money will go south. But hay, he can say he didn't raise taxes. He plans to drop them even more.

What say you northern Ohio: Is this a tax?

pntbutterandjelly

I find it odd, to say the least, that all other major Ohio roads are toll free. And...the Turnpike was "paid off" many years ago (according to the plan) only to have the tolls continually going up. Something smells bad here. Real bad. And...yes...Kasuck will try to privatize it so some buddy (wealthy supporter) can make more money. I hear the Chinese are looking for some investments. Why not offer it to the Taliban? If we are going to cut our own throats for profit...why not?