I'm planning on driving from Toledo, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Google Maps suggests that I take the following route.

However, the portion of the route in Pennsylvania along I-76 is incredibly expensive for the length I will be on it. It's $7 according to this toll calculator -- that's many times more than the toll per distance than the Ohio turnpike charges!

If I tell Google Maps to avoid tolls altogether, the length of the trip increases from 3 hours to 4 hours. However, I don't mind paying the Ohio turnpike toll, I just want to avoid the Pennsylvania Turnpike toll. And I don't think there's a way to ask Google maps to selectively avoid certain tolls but not others.

Basically, my question is this: What is the fastest route to drive from Toledo to Pittsburgh with the only constraint being that I want to avoid toll roads in Pennsylvania?

  • 4
    If you know you'll be on 80 through Ohio, why not just plot an "avoid tolls" route from Youngstown or some other locale along the border? If you just stay on 80 to 79, you only add a half hour or so to the trip.
    – choster
    Jun 30, 2017 at 21:27
  • 1
    By the way, if you think $11.75 is expensive, don't ever drive in Delaware or New Jersey, or use the HOT lanes in the DC area. From the Potomac to Springfield, a distance of about 15 miles, the current toll is $16.20.
    – choster
    Jun 30, 2017 at 21:45
  • @choster Yes, I can do something like that, but it's difficult to know if it's the fastest route. For example, perhaps there is a better route that doesn't go thorugh Youngstown. Adding half an hour is still a bit too long for me, and I was wondering if anybody knew any tricks.
    – nukeguy
    Jun 30, 2017 at 21:56
  • 2
    You appear to have calculated the toll to exit 57, which is due east of Pittsburgh, rather than to exit 28 as indicated on the Google route. The PA turnpike toll for the suggested route is actually $7.
    – phoog
    Jun 30, 2017 at 22:51
  • 2
    Google maps allows you to pull the route off the line they give. Anchor it near the point where you want to leave the proposed route and anchor it again on the road you want to take instead. The software will find the rest of the route as if it was a new request.
    – Willeke
    Jul 1, 2017 at 8:00

3 Answers 3


Plot it with tolls. Plot it without tolls. "Lay them on top of each other" in your mind. Those lines are going to cross or come quite near, at some point(s). Use one to crossover.

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See, most of your time penalty is pinballing around Ohio-2 and US-422 in Ohio. It's all-freeway on the Pennsylvania side.

They don't kiss, but they come close in Youngstown. And that link (gray line on the second map) is I-76. Yay!

Now go back to the toll route, and use Google's "drag to reroute" feature to force it onto the 80/79 divert. Voila. Only a 20 minute penalty. You just paid yourself $21/hour tax free, can't make that on Uber!

enter image description here

  • 1
    If I had seen this before going on the trip, I would definitely have done it. Nice work! I should note that there's no toll exiting Pennsylvania, so you can do this on the way in and then take the regular route on the way out.
    – nukeguy
    Jul 3, 2017 at 2:57

This is an old post, but I often am in this situation travelling between Scott (Carnegie), a few miles southwest of Pittsburgh and Ashland in north central Ohio.

Westbound, we take I-79 to the PA turnpike (free westbound, avoids I-376 tolls on airport expressway) to Niles where 76 leaves the Ohio Turnpike. The OH TPK portion is $1. Not unreasonable.

Eastbound, it is now (2020) $5.90 with EZ-Pass and 12.20 without just to enter PA and go 10 miles to I-376 (which also is tolled at that point.)

Instead, at Niles where I-76 joins the OH turnpike, we stay straight - I-76 becomes I-80. After 5 miles exit to OH-11 South. We follow OH-11 about 15 miles (all expressway with very little traffic) to OH-14 at Columbiana. This is 2-lane for about 12 miles, but it affords us the chance to fill up in OH (not only are PA tools expensive, but PA has the one of the highest gasoline tax rates in the country). OH-14 becomes PA-51 in PA and that becomes a 4-lane road, though with several traffic lights in the last 2 miles before turning onto I-376 "East" (going south at this point) on the "free" part about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh.


I agree with the proposed route from @Harper, but instead of going all the way out to Grove City, exit I-80 at Hermitage, take I-376 south to New Castle, it will turn into US-422 (limited access) and follow that to I-79. You will find this a slightly more enjoyable trip, much less trafficked than I-80, with the opportunity to stop and refuel/eat in New Castle. Once you get to I-79, the directions are similar.

I will also note that I do the drive from Detroit to Pittsburgh very regularly - I will often bypass most of the OH-pike using OH-2, will travel the gap between the OH-2 jctn & I-80 on the OH turnpike (for a reduced toll) then take I-680 to either US-422 or US-224 (both will take you to New Castle and I-376/US 422.) It is, in my opinion, the fastest and most pleasant way into the 'Burgh.

ETA: it's also very feasible to take 422 in New Castle to the PA 168 Monrovia Street exit, follow that through the southern neighborhood of New Castle known as Mahoningtown to PA 18, then take PA 18 south 10 miles to the PA Turnpike. The segment of the PA 'pike from PA 18 to the Cranberry Township I-79 exit is free of charge.

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