Q. How is the Ohio Turnpike Commission (OTC) different from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)?
A. The OTC is a separate organization from ODOT. The Commission handles all matters pertaining to the 241-mile toll road, while ODOT is run by the state of Ohio and has many district offices that handle matters for other routes and interstates throughout Ohio.
Q. Why do I have to pay a toll to use the Ohio Turnpike when I already pay taxes?
A. The maintenance, operation and security of the Ohio Turnpike are funded almost exclusively through tolls - NOT TAXES. Your taxes pay for other roads and interstates, not the Turnpike. The Ohio Turnpike receives NO federal funding and only a small portion of state tax ($. 05 per gallon from gasoline purchased ONLY at service stations on the Turnpike.) (Note: The small portion of state tax money received by the Turnpike Commission is specifically allocated to the maintenance and repairs of the bridges and overpasses that are state routes.) Turnpike tolls serve as a user fee and only those who use the Turnpike pay for it.
Q. Why do I have to pay to use the Turnpike?
A. There are many Turnpikes and toll facilities across the United States and around the world. Several states have multiple toll roads. The concept is not new because there really are NO "FREE" ROADS. Even though you do not pay a toll to use other roads in Ohio, you still pay for them through a Motor Fuel Tax of 46.4 - 52.4 cents per gallon:
Q. Who runs the Ohio Turnpike Commission?
A. The Commission consists of five voting members and four non-voting members for a total of nine members when at full strength. The four voting members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the senate, no more than two of whom are members of the same political party. The fifth voting member is the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, who is a member ex-officio. Appointed members receive an annual compensation of $5,000 and serve an eight-year term. Terms are staggered so that one starts or expires every two years.
There are two additional ex-officio members with non-voting status, the Director of Development and the Director of Office of Budget and Management. The two remaining non-voting members are a state senator and a state representative. They are named, respectively, by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Q. What routes or interstates connect with the Ohio Turnpike?
A. The Ohio Turnpike connects to several routes and interstates across the state. You can obtain a list of these by clicking on Connecting Routes.
Q. Can I leave my automobile at a service plaza or toll plaza interchange?
A. Unfortunately, due to security reasons and limited parking availability at the interchanges and service plazas, we do not allow travelers to leave an unattended vehicle for an extended period of time. Our plazas are often patrolled by the OSHP and if a trooper notices that a vehicle has been left for a considerable amount of time, he/she will report that vehicle as abandoned and it will be towed.
Q. Am I able to wait to meet my party at a service plaza or interchange?
A. You are certainly welcome to meet another party at any of our service plazas along the Turnpike, but you will not be able to leave a vehicle at the plazas if you join the other party. We do not allow long term parking at our service plazas.
Customers are prohibited to wait at interchanges to meet their party for a variety of reasons. First of all, parking space is limited and is exclusive for employees working for the Turnpike. Additionally, the area surrounding the interchange is designed for the safety of our employees and is not adequately equipped to accommodate customers.
Q. What is the cost to travel the Ohio Turnpike?
A. Toll charges are based on the vehicle's height and number of axles, so the cost to travel on the Ohio Turnpike depends on the type of vehicle in which you are traveling. If you are traveling in a Class 1 vehicle (passenger automobiles and other two-axle vehicles under 7' 6" in height) then the toll charge to travel the entire 241-mile Turnpike is $16.50. If you are traveling in a Class 2-7 vehicle, please use the fare and mileage calculator to figure out your appropriate toll charge. You will need to know your point of entrance and exit on the Ohio Turnpike and your vehicle class. You may figure out your toll charge by clicking here.
Q. Can I use a credit card to pay my toll fare?
All interchanges accept United States currency for toll payment, in addition to major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) or debit cards that are associated with a major credit card. In order to remain compliant with the Federal Reserve Bank’s policy on authorized deposits, the Ohio Turnpike Commission no longer accepts foreign currency or coins.
There is an ATM located in each of the Ohio Turnpike service plazas so that customers can easily obtain U.S. currency 24/7/365.
Q. Which lane should travelers use for passing other vehicles?
A. The operator of a motor vehicle should drive in the outer (right) and center (in three lane sections) traffic lanes in the designated direction for traffic, except when lawfully crossing from one lane to another. The operator of a motor vehicle should use the inner traffic lanes for passing only. Where there are three traffic lanes provided for the same direction of travel, heavy commercial vehicles and vehicles operating at a rate of speed below the maximum in effect should drive in the outer (right) lane and should use the center lane for passing only. Trucks are not permitted to use the third-lane.
Q. How can I obtain a list of restaurants at various exits on the Turnpike?
A. Since the Ohio Turnpike provides several restaurant choices at each of its 14 service plazas, we do not maintain listings of restaurants at or around various exits. For a list of restaurants at various exits along the Ohio Turnpike, you may wish to contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau of a particular city prior to your travels.
Q. Does the Ohio Turnpike have a list of hotels/motels at each exit?
A. Yes, we do maintain such a listing in our Lodging Guide, which can be picked up at any of our service plazas or toll plazas. If you would like one prior to your trip, please email Customer Service with your request and mailing information and one will be mailed to the address provided. If you would like to view the information online, click here to view the information on Travel Boards.
Q. Why are there construction zones when no one is working?
A. Construction zones have to be set before workers actually begin working on the roadway. Depending on the length and type of the work zone it can take one half-hour to several days to set up a work zone. The rules that apply to contractors are that following zone set up, work should then commence. In some instances, such as hot sealing, pavement repairs and construction, it is necessary to allow a drying, or curing, time before vehicles can travel on the surface or work crews can again access the area to continue work, in which case a zone would still be curing, but no one would be working in that area.
Q. Does the Commission install sound barriers for those who live close to the Turnpike?
A. No, the Ohio Turnpike does not install Noise Walls. The Ohio Turnpike was built in 1954 and because some homes were in close proximity to the Turnpike, the Commission paid homeowners at that time for damages and potential depreciation in the value of their home and land. The homeowners released the Commission from all claims of damages as a result of the Ohio Turnpike severing the parcel. The release of damages was recorded on the deeds and would have been incorporated into any future property transfers.
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