Pa Turnpike tests smartphone app to pay tolls

Mark Abrams
September 08, 2019 - 4:00 am

Mike Dougherty | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike is testing a new app that will allow drivers to pay their tolls by way of their smartphones. 

First there was E-ZPass. Then, the option to pay at certain toll plazas with a credit card. 

Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo says it made sense to go to the next level.

"Today, the turnpike sees about 85 percent of our customers pay electronically," DeFebo said. "So, to us, that's a majority of our customers who do prefer electronic payment options and we like these electronic payment options because they're safer and more convenient and process more traffic." 

He says the mobile payment app — the first of its kind to be used on a turnpike — uses GPS technology to track a driver's route and calculates what the driver owes when they pull up to the toll booth.

DeFebo says turnpike commission employees and administrators are testing the app now and the plan is to roll it out to the general public by the end of the year.

"Comparatively the app is a 15 percent discount from the cash rate, or will be when it's launched," he said. "So, it's not a bad discount. But we look at this more for infrequent travelers and visitors to Pennsylvania who may not take other toll roads."