New toll system on Ohio Turnpike reported working smoothly

WARREN — The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission says no major issues over Memorial Day Weekend were reported as its new tolling system approaches two months in use.

As part of the Ohio Turnpike’s new toll collection system, which went live April 10, nine toll plazas no longer charge tolls. Five of those nine toll plazas are in Mahoning or Trumbull counties.

“As we approach nearly two months since the implementation of the new toll collection system, it is running smoothly,” said Ohio Turnpike Director of Marketing and Communications Chuck Cyrill. “A successful transition to the new system was possible because we phased in and tested the new system extensively prior to going live. We will continue to monitor and optimize the tolling system’s performance.”

Local travelers may see signage reading “no toll, keep moving,” at the interchanges that have removed staff from booths. Toll Plaza 215, Lordstown-West; Toll Plaza 216, Lordstown-East; Toll Plaza, Niles-Youngstown; Toll Plaza 232, Youngstown; Toll Plaza 234, Youngstown-Poland have ceased toll collection.

Cyrill said this means, “cash customers entering and exiting at these locations will no longer stop to take a toll, ticket or pay a toll, and E-ZPass transponders will no longer be read.”

The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission’s new toll collection system was deemed viable following a study in 2016. In 2023, combined E-ZPass use by theOhio Turnpike’s passenger vehicle and commercial truck customers was 74.1%.

“In 2023, more than 50.7 million trips on the Ohio Turnpike were completed by passenger and commercial truck customers,” Cyrill said. “That is an average of about 139,000 travelers per day.”

During the first quarter of 2024, passenger cars traveled 364,974,303 miles, up 1.9%; and commercial trucks traveled 283,683,999 miles, up 0.2%. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles accounted for 56.3% and 43.7%, respectively, of miles traveled, according to the Ohio Turnpike website.

“Ohio Turnpike customers logged nearly 648.7 million miles traveling on the toll road during the first quarter of 2024, an increase of 1.1% compared to the same three-month period a year ago,” the Ohio Turnpike stated in a press release.

The release continued, “The combined number of vehicles that traveled on the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike, which is designated as Interstate 80, I-90 and I-76, was 11,072,584, up 2.1%, during the first quarter of 2024.”

Passenger cars completed 8,075,720 trips, up 2.2%; and commercial trucks completed 2,996,864 trips, up 1.9%. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles accounted for 72.9% and 27.1%, respectively, of traffic.

Cyrill added that the primary goal of the commission’s plan included enhancing the traveling experience for passenger and commercial truck customers. “Customers with an E-ZPass can travel nonstop across the 241-mile toll road at highway speeds,” Cyrill said.

When driving through toll booth lanes, though gates may be open, motorists are reminded to follow the posted 10 mph speed limit for their safety and the safety of other motorists, as well as the safety of Ohio Turnpike staff.

“To avoid back-ups and delays in the tolling lanes, we are urging drivers to follow the message signs and enter the proper toll booths,” Cyrill said.

As part of the new system, Eastgate Toll Plaza at milepost 239 in Mahoning County has become a one direction flat rate toll plaza, according to Cyrill. All customers traveling eastbound on the Ohio turnpike will not be charged a toll at Eastgate Toll Plaza. And a flat rate toll will be assessed for both E-ZPass and cash or credit customers traveling westbound through the renovated toll plaza.

The Newton Falls Toll Plaza at milepost 211 opened as part of the new system. “The two plazas are the new ends of the ticketed toll system,” Cyrill said.

“The new toll collection and technology behind it are a big step forward in safety efficiency, and convenience for the Ohio Turnpike’s passenger car and commercial truck customers to reach east and west destinations along the northern corridor of Ohio and beyond,” the commission said in March.

For more details about the Ohio Turnpike’s new toll collection system, visit www.ohioturnpike.org/openroadtolling2024.

Have an interesting story? Contact Daniel Newman by email at newman@tribtoday.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @TribDNewman


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today