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  1. #1

    Default From Pittsburgh to Boston on a budget

    Hi there,

    I'm planning a road trip from Pittsburgh to Boston for New Year's Eve. On my way up, I will probably stop in Philadelphia for a night and then continue on the next day. On my way back, I'm driving straight through, avoiding the PA Turnpike altogether. I'm trying to figure out the best route and have no idea how much the tolls are but noticed that there doesn't seem to really be a way around the tolls. Does anyone have any experience with the various routes and tolls that you have to pay?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default avoiding, by going direct

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Personally, I'd avoid Philly for two reasons. One is the tolls, the other is that its a rather indirect route that's going to add miles and forces you onto the ultra-busy I-95 from Philly, through NYC, and onto Boston. (I'd avoid that if possible at any time, but during the New Years holiday it will likely be even worse).

    There's no easy way to avoid all the tolls, but the most direct route actually is pretty painless. That would involve going up to I-80, and then taking I-81 to Scranton and I-84 all the way to Mass. The only tolls here would be a crossing the Hudson River ($1 eastbound only) and the section of the Mass Turnpike that takes you into Boston (About $4 depending upon your exit point).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Further Comments

    I absolutely agree with Michael's suggestion of using I-80/I-81/I-84 rather than the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Philadelphia and then I-95 through the Northeast Corridor. I would just add a few other bits: Probably the easiest way up to I-80 is to take US-22 to Altoona and then I-99/US-220 north joining I-80 near Bellefonte. If you are really interested in saving tolls, US-20 from Sturbridge to Auburn is an acceptable alternative to the Mass Pike, especially if you're headed to the northern suburbs of Boston and can make use of I-290 through Worcester/Shrewsbury to I-495. Unfortunately, there's no way around the fact that at 575 miles more or less, this drive will be pushing the upper limits of what it's safe to drive in a day.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    My mapping program shows PA-28 as the most direct way from Pittsburgh to I-80. Check with the locals there to see how viable it is.

    Michael's route will cost you about $5 in tolls as he indicated and it's not worth it trying to avoid those. If you have an EZ-Pass, it will work all the way. If you are on a really tight budget, you could make the drive both ways in a single VERY LONG day. Hotel costs everywhere in the Northeast tend to be quite high, if you do want to stop for the night, careful research will be needed. Philly is NOT a good option for an overnight, hotels everywhere around there are particularly expensive - for example, the Motel 6 in King of Prussia is 80 bucks a night!

  5. #5

    Default Thanks :)

    Thank you to everyone for your ideas and feedback. It is all very helpful.

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