Commercial Vehicle Miles on Ohio Turnpike Slipped in 2023

Downswing Reflects National Trend of Decline in Freight Hauling
Ohio Turnpike
The Ohio Turnpike (Interstate 80) crosses the Cuyahoga Valley south of Cleveland. (PapaBear/Getty Images)

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Despite the Ohio Turnpike’s record-setting 3.1 billion total vehicle miles experienced last year on its roadway system, commercial vehicles traveled fewer miles than in 2022.

2023’s vehicle miles statistics across the 241-mile toll road along Ohio’s northern corridor revealed that passenger cars were responsible for the 2.2% overall annual increase compared with 2022.

Passenger vehicles on the turnpike in 2023 logged 1.93 billion miles (up 5.2% from the previous year), while commercial truck traffic slipped 2.2% from a record 1.22 billion miles traveled in 2022.

“The decline in vehicle miles traveled and the decline in the number of trips completed by commercial trucks on the Ohio Turnpike in 2023 mirrors the national trend, which includes a decline in freight hauling as well as other adverse economic factors,” said Charles Cyrill, spokesman for the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

Charles Cyrill


However, the Ohio Turnpike also noted a slight upswing in 2023 annual E-ZPass usage rates by commercial trucks and passenger vehicles.

Nearly 90% of commercial truck customers driving on the toll road last year used the E-ZPass payment system, 0.4% higher than in 2022. Passenger cars that relied on E-ZPass increased 2.1% to 64.5% in the same period.

This year the turnpike will continue its work to modernize its toll collection system. Higher toll rates took effect in January to increase revenue that will help pay for infrastructure improvements. The new E-ZPass rate for commercial vehicle (Class 5) customers is 20.4 cents per mile, compared with 18.9 cents in 2023. The base passenger vehicle (Class 1) toll rate for E-ZPass customers is 6.5 cents per mile versus 6.1 cents last year.

The higher rates are to meet operating, debt service and capital improvement costs. This year, the Ohio Turnpike will devote nearly $238 million from its capital improvement budget for new projects in 2024 as well as for completing past work.

More than $162 million has been allocated this year for roadway and bridge projects. Nearly 142 lane miles of pavement will be resurfaced, pavement at a toll plaza interchange will be revamped and 26 bridges will undergo extensive maintenance work.

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