EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) says it will increase toll prices in 2024, for the fifth consecutive year.

The PA Turnpike is used every day by many drivers and the news of a toll increase was not welcomed with open arms by some behind the wheel.

And although it won’t start until 2024, many are already making new travel plans.

Just as gas prices start to drop and the number of drivers on the road soar, new toll prices may cause travelers to hit the breaks.

On Tuesday, the PTC announced a 5 percent toll increase for all E-Z pass and toll-by plate customers starting on January 7 of 2024. After several years of toll price hikes, drivers are left wondering why?

“I wonder where the money is going truthfully. What are they doing, they’re taking a lot of money and I know tolls originally were to pay for the roads. They’ve been more than paid for, so what are they doing now,” asked Kevin Hegarty of Conyngham.

In a press release from the PTC, C.E.O Mark Compton said, “We recognize that our customers pay a premium when they choose to travel on the PA Turnpike.”

“In return, we endeavor to provide a dependable, premium experience that gets our customers safely to their destinations in a timely fashion,” Compton added.

When drivers were asked if the price increase will keep them from taking the turnpike some say they have to, regardless of the cost.

“Not really because I kind of don’t have a choice. Either way, I have to use it, so I hope it doesn’t go up too much but what are we gonna do,” said Steven Olivares of West Wyoming.

While others say they will do what they can to steer clear of the rising tolls.

“Yeah, I would try to avoid it, if there was an easier way around. Sometimes it’s just the quickest way and it’s worth the money but usually not, unfortunately,” said Hegarty.

Whichever route those behind the wheel decide to take, they all want the same thing at their final destination.

“I just hope prices start going down because everything else seems to be going up. So let’s see what happens,” said Olivares.

Now an annual toll hike is mandatory-due to legislation passed in 2007 and it’s expected to continue through 2050.