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Pennsylvania Turnpike won't accept cash or credit cards, with Toll By Plate payment in place

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Starting 8 p.m. tonight, no cash or credit cards will be accepted as payment anywhere on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the turnpike announced today.

Customers without E-ZPass are to continue to use lanes marked “Tickets” on entry and “Cash” on exit, but they should keep moving at the posted speed without stopping. Instead of paying their toll on the roadway, they will receive a Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll By Plate invoice through the mail.

Toll booths will not be staffed as of 8 p.m. today, turnpike spokeswoman Rosanne Placey told the Press & Journal. The move is in effect until further notice.

The move is described as a temporary safety measure to keep travelers moving with no need to stop at tollbooths or to interact with tolling personnel during the coronavirus situation.

“This temporary measure is critical to enable us to support the commonwealth in its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “I want to be clear that we will return to normal toll-collection operations as soon as it becomes practical.”

With the Pennsylvania Turnpike Toll By Plate option, high-speed cameras capture license-plate images as vehicles pass by. The registered owner receives an invoice within 30 days for trips made through the tolling point. Invoices can be paid online, by phone or by mail.

Customers who receive a Toll By Plate invoice will be charged the “cash” toll rate. However, when paying their invoice, they will have the option to open an E-ZPass account to receive the discounted rate at time of payment.

Customers have 20 days to pay invoices before a second invoice is issued. If the first invoice is not paid, the second invoice will include an additional fee of $5 or the equivalent of 1.5 percent of the total amount owed, whichever is higher.

Cash tolls will still be in place on the Mon-Fayette Expressway (Pennsylvania Turnpike 43) via the current Automated Payment Machines.

All customers should be prepared for possible confusion around the toll plaza areas as drivers adjust to the temporary measure. Drivers should slow down when approaching a tolling point or interchange, pay attention and proceed with caution.

For more information on how all-electronic tolling works, visit nocashzone.com.