On the Pennsylvania Turnpike, EZ-Pass participation and variable tolling were projected to decrease peak period traffic congestion at urban interchanges by 15 to 20 percent and have minimal impacts on non-turnpike diversion routes.

8 March 2004
Statewide,Pennsylvania,United States

Summary Information

As of 2004, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) was considering the possible implementation of some form of value pricing on its facilities, in an effort to deal with increasing levels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline sections and toll plazas. This study builds on preliminary analyses of value pricing that were part of previous studies. This study considered possible future toll pricing strategies which may have the potential to:
  • Provide an economic incentive to shift traffic out of peak travel periods;
  • Provide an economic marketing incentive to encourages the use of electronic toll collection;
  • Promote the safe and efficient movement of traffic on the Turnpike; and
  • Enhance traffic and revenue growth on the Turnpike to help meet forecasted revenue needs.
Data were collected during this study to help estimate the potential impacts of value pricing, as well as to assess Turnpike patrons' and stakeholders' opinions on the subject. Data were collected in the form of patron focus groups, benefit testing, stakeholder interviews, preference surveys, and traffic data collection.


A logit model was developed from the results of the stated preference survey to estimate motorist's reaction to selected value pricing scenarios and toll rate differentials. The logit model determined the likelihood of time shift and shift from cash to easy E-ZPass, but it did not estimate the potential diversionary impacts of higher toll rates.

A regional diversion model was used to estimate the diversion of traffic to alternative routes for those not willing to shift time of travel. The majority of the scenarios generally provided similar peak period traffic impacts at urban interchanges, with total traffic reductions in the 15-20 percent range. Overall diversion impacts were relatively low, and once distributed among several routes, the impacts on any individual road were found to be relatively small.

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Pennsylvania Turnpike Value Pricing Study

Published By: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

Source Date: 8 March 2004


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Benefit ID: 2008-00548