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Turnpike Plans to Go Cashless by 2021

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- By 2021, the Pennsylvania Turnpike won't be accepting cash for tolls and that means a lot of toll booth workers and other employees will be without jobs.

Many people traveling along the Turnpike on Monday think doing away with cash toll booths is a good idea. The change, however, means you won't be seeing tool booth workers anymore. The switch could cost about 600 people their jobs.

Trading in tollbooth workers for technology, the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be fully cashless in two years. More than 600 tollbooth workers will lose their jobs, but a spokesman for the Turnpike Commission says it will retain many of them in other positions,

"I think it's really sad that people are going to lose their jobs so people can have something be more convenient," said Carriann Reed of Wilkes-Barre.

Several cashless and E-ZPass-only tolls are already in use on the Turnpike. The plan is for it to be fully cashless in two years. Even though toll takers will be gone, some physical tollbooths could take about five years to replace.

By 2026, all tollbooths could be replaced by overhead gantries. Drivers will have two options -- get an E-ZPass or have their license plate photographed and receive a bill in the mail.

"It comes in the mail! You don't have to worry about carrying the E-ZPass. You don't have to worry about which lane you're in. It'll be much easier," Donald Gansauer said. "Half the people don't have cash on them. It's all debit cards and credit cards."

The Turnpike Commission has struggled to collect payment on mailed toll bills, racking up millions in unpaid tolls in recent years.

Some commuters we spoke with wonder if the cashless system will only perpetuate that problem.

"I know people down my way go on the Atlantic City Expressway and drive through and think, 'oh, other people are doing it, I don't have to pay,'" said Barbara Darnell.

11 comments

  • lamestream r

    Those poor toll workers, they were probably told by their Union to vote for Democrats! I guess you found out that didn’t work out to well for you! They never learn, Democrats always find ways to get rid of workers or cut benefits in union contracts and they still vote Democrat! You got what you voted for and now reap the rewards!

    • Skookus Maximus (@mcbb1963)

      Uh, if you actually took the time to READ the article, MOST of the workers will be assigned to other jobs. And THAT is what a union does for it’s members. If the turnpike was private, they would all be out of a job. You must really like your cashier job at Dollar General. PROUD union worker here!!!!

  • George Lamprinos

    I used the turnpike once six years ago. That’s about how often I need to use it. Maybe once every six or ten years. So for that once every six or ten years I’ll have to go through the hassle of buying an ezpass? Why can’t we keep it simple and allow for some non-frequent drivers to use cash still? same for those cashless parking meters. what is so hard about dropping a quarter in the slot? How does using a credit card make it easier than dropping a quarter in a slot?

  • Robert Mills

    If those toll workers lose their job they can still count on Elizabeth Warren giving them free medicare for life. Oh wait, that is free to illegals not American workers.

  • Rob Conklin

    In Pennsylvania with us having the HIGHEST gas tax, why aren’t these roads covered? Wait, my bad, the state can’t keep up with all the other roads, but they keep up paying high salaries to friends and families in the system.

    • Bob Stevens

      Since when does the state want to reduce the amount of our money they take? More than likely it will go up!

      • Denpachii

        Of course it will go up, need to pay for all that new gear and people to run it and fix it. The former toll workers pay will go to cover the State police bribe… fee.

  • Brett Jennings

    well at least there will be less asbestos claims by toll workers. One of the jobs with the highest incidents of asbestos exposure, from all the break pad dust.

Comments are closed.

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