1 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA, United States, Truckers Oppose Bridge Tolls in PA

1 Federal St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA, United States

Truckers Oppose Bridge Tolls in PA

Truckers are pushing back at a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s proposal to add tolls to nine vehicle bridges across the state, including on Interstate 79, to close a funding gap to widen the roadway and replace the bridges.

Under the proposal — which PennDOT is preparing for federal approval — passenger vehicles would pay a couple dollars and tractor-trailers could pay as much as $10 on a single pass by late 2023.

Some in the trucking industry are pushing back, saying the proposal disproportionately relies on trucks.

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40% of the Transportation Costs, 9% of the Miles

“Truckers currently pay about 40 percent of the transportation costs, in taxes, in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that they only drive about 9 percent if of the miles,” said Rebecca Oyler of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee also questioned the tolling program during a budget hearing, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

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PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian

PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian

PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian defended the tolling option, telling legislators her department has annual road and bridge needs of about $15 billion and only $6.9 billion available to address them,” according news reports.

PennDOT officials said that gas revenues in the state have dropped off significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the authority with little other choice to fund the necessary road improvements.

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