Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

    C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E

    Contact: Lowman S. Henry (717) 939-9551 Ext. # 2934                          June 9, 1997

PA Turnpike to Hold Customer Appreciation Day

        Harrisburg, PA -- Turnpike customers it's your day!! The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will hold a Customer Appreciation Day on Wednesday, June 11th. Turnpike customers will be given special packets which include discount coupons for tickets to area amusement parks, a card with tips on how to get through exits with ease, and a copy of the current edition of the Turnpike Traveler and Turnpike Traveler Guide.
        "This is an opportunity for the entire Turnpike staff to show our customers that we appreciate their decision to drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike," said Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin. "Each day over 340,000 vehicles make the choice to travel on the Turnpike and they have come to depend on the many services Turnpike travel provides."
        "The Pennsylvania Turnpike is much more than just a highway," Durbin continued. "We offer many services to our customers including everything from food and fuel at our service plazas to 24-hour emergency services including Pennsylvania State Police and Turnpike safety patrols."
        Turnpike fare collectors are taking the lead in Customer Appreciation Day activities and will be handing out the customer appreciation packets. "Often times the only Turnpike employee a traveler comes into contact with during their trip on the Turnpike is the fare collector," said James Alexander Jr., Deputy Executive Director of Customer Service. "In many ways, fare collectors are our ambassadors to the public."
        "Courtesy is Contagious" signs will be posted at the Turnpike's interchanges which will also be festooned with American flags in anticipation of this week's Flag Day holiday. Special messages detailing Turnpike services will be broadcast on Highway Advisory Radio stations now operating in the Harrisburg, Carlisle, Breezewood and Donegal areas.
        Special activities will also take place at various service plazas where Pennsylvania State Police, and Turnpike safety patrols and first responder units will be available to talk with travelers. A State Police "rollover simulator" will be in operation at the Valley Forge service plaza between 9:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. to show the effects of a "rollover" on a vehicle's occupants. Safety patrol vehicles will be on display at other service plazas.
        "This event is an initial expression of our renewed commitment to customer services as evidenced by the creation of a new Customer Service Department," Durbin explained. The Turnpike's new Customer Service Department was created last year when the Fare Collection, Marketing, Communications and Troop T of the Pennsylvania State Police were brought together into one department.
        Looking ahead, Durbin said the Turnpike will be establishing a new customer information answering service, adding more variable message signs, and will be expanding Highway Advisory Radio to service the entire Turnpike system. "We are America's first superhighway," Durbin concluded. "And, we intend to remain first when it comes to customer service."


         P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649