Motorists frustrated by the unending cycle of toll increases by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission can take some comfort in a performance audit of the agency announced by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The latest increase, effective Sunday, boosted tolls 6 percent; it’s the 10th consecutive increase in as many years. Mr. DePasquale said the audit will examine the Turnpike Commission’s assertion that traffic will increase despite increased tolls. It will also look at the turnpike’s annual payments to PennDOT and the commission’s process for awarding construction contracts. Given the increasing toll on motorists’ wallets, a closer look at turnpike operations is in order.
“What we want to analyze is their belief from their consultants that despite the increase in tolls, they’ll have increased traffic. I am not convinced this is going to happen.”
Pennsylvania’s auditor general
“Through this audit I hope to provide an accurate picture of the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s status and, if necessary, make recommendations for improvement.”
“Public transparency and accountability is a critical check and balance for an agency such as the commission, especially given the impact we have on the commonwealth’s economy, mobility and safety. We look forward to working with the auditor general to complete this vital work and will cooperate fully as we have during recurring audits in the past.”
CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission