For motorists who drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike every day to the same destination, it probably doesn't seem like that big a deal.

But for those of us who only travel the pike occasionally, mostly to different locations, it is a big deal.

In the future, you won't know how much you owe in toll fees until you get there. The tickets you receive when entering the turnpike won't have the fees printed on them.

We're not sure about you, but the first thing this writer does when he gets on the turnpike is look to see what it's going to cost to get to his destination. Then, when possible, he tries to come up with the exact change to complete the transaction when he gets to the end of his turnpike destination in order to speed up his trip.

But that will no longer be the case.

Drivers who pay their Pennsylvania Turnpike toll in cash soon won't be able to find out how much they owe by looking at their ticket.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission won't be printing the costs of tolls on tickets when tolls go up on 545-mile highway, beginning next month.

Tolls are set to increase annually under a 2007 transportation funding law. They'll go up 10 percent for cash customers and 3 percent for E-ZPass users.

Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo explained that by not printing the fares on tickets, the commission will save money; new tickets won't have to be printed every year.

But Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner says he's appalled by the decision, calling it a "mistake in judgment."

We agree with Auditor General Wagner. Motorists are entitled to know what the fee is.

This is just another example of paying more and getting less in return. If our fees are going up, we at least have the right to know how much it's going to cost us before we get there.

Bob Urban

rurban@tnonline.com [1]