CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Toll collections on the West Virginia Turnpike saw a rare upswing in July -- thanks to bus traffic to and from the Boy Scout Jamboree, Parkways General Manager Greg Barr said at a West Virginia Parkways Authority meeting Thursday.
For the month, tolls were up 1.5 percent. They were up 3 percent during the period of the Jamboree, when about 40,000 scouts were bused to the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County.
"Since they were all on buses, it didn't increase the percentage all that greatly," Barr said.
There were 3,690,671 toll transactions in July, up nearly 60,000 from July 2012. Toll revenues were up $72,678, at $8.24 million for the month.
That's the first significant upturn in toll collections in nearly a year, but calendar year-to-date collections are still down about 1.5 percent, Barr said.
Overall, toll revenues of $46.99 million are $977,243 below the same point in 2012.
Also during Thursday's authority meeting:
• Commissioners discussed credit card fee charges that are costing the Parkways Authority about $550,000 a year.
When out-of-state drivers use E-Z Pass at Turnpike toll plazas, the toll payment is automatically charged to the driver's credit card, with the credit card processing fee deducted from the amount of the toll.
Because 70 percent of the Turnpike traffic is from out-of-state, the fees add up, Barr noted.
"Our outflow of credit card fees is greater than our inflow," he said.