PENN FOREST TOWNSHIP, CARBON COUNTY (EYEWITNESS NEWS WBRE/WYOU) – It seems like the cost of everything is getting more expensive these days, and soon, traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be too.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has announced it’s increasing toll prices for the 15th-straight year in January.

Drivers stopped at the Hickory Run Service Plaza in Penn Forest Township Thursday along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

It’s where we found Reading resident Jim Wenrich who uses the Turnpike at least once a month.

“I go down to the Jersey Shore, go to Pittsburgh to see my son and his family, and up to Upstate New York and Canada fishing, which is what I’m on my way home from now,” Wenrich said.

Eyewitness News spoke to people from all different places traveling to their final destinations.

“I’m headed down to the University of Pennsylvania campus where I’m a current Doctoral Student,” Jamiere Abney of Fayetteville, New York, said.

“We came here because we’re picking up Pete’s grandson, and we thought well, it will be a nice ride instead of him flying to us,” Theresa Brosius of Niagra, New York, said.

But they do share one common frustration and that’s paying turnpike tolls.

This week, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 5% toll increase in 2023 for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers.

“Any tolls are just an inconvenience and an imposition especially with inflation and the cost of everything else,” Pete Ames of Niagra, New York, said.

“Because costs go up for things, whether it’s gas, whether it’s flights, tolls or other types of prices for things, it’s really tough. And it’s frustrating to have to see things and continue to have to figure out how you budget,” Abney said.

The Turnpike Commission says it’s forced to raise the cost of tolls annually for the foreseeable future to meet its financial obligations.

“In my opinion, the turnpike has never been in worse condition, and for it to be going up, where is it all going? There’s still pot holes out that usually this time of year have been fixed, and they’re not,” Gary Shafor of Pottstown said.

Wenrich is prepared to pay, but he hopes to see something change in the future.

“Keep your fingers crossed… all you can do is hope,” Wenrich said.

The new rates will take effect across the toll-highway system on January 8th, 2023.

According to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission:

The most-common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase from $1.70 to $1.80 for E-ZPass customers and from $4.10 to $4.40 for Toll By Plate customers. The most-common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer will increase from $13.70 to $14.40 for E-ZPass and from $28 to $29.40 for Toll By Plate. After the increase is applied, E-ZPass and Toll By Plate rates for passenger and commercial vehicles will round up to the next dime.”