Finally Automating The Pennsylvania Turnpike Could Ease Money Woes, But What About Toll Collectors?

One bright spot in the consuming darkness of this financial night is the long-promised automation.

“The number of employees we have right now is roughly 1,800. Once we go to [all electronic tolling] that number goes to 1,300,” said Compton.

That, he said, would reduce the turnpike’s approximately $400 million operating budget by about $70 million…

But it’s not clear the turnpike will actually recoup that $70 million, said Charles Gaston, who represents toll collectors west of Gettysburg as secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 250.

“The question that the collectors had originally was ‘Isn’t money in hand better than trying to chase people around to get the money off them?’” he said. “Send them a letter in the mail with a bill and try and recoup the monies for tolls?”

And while Pennsylvania can suspend a Pennsylvanian’s vehicle registration for nonpayment of tolls at the $500 dollar mark, Gaston said out-of-state motorists wouldn’t face similar consequences.