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 25, 1997


(NOTE: Radio stations may obtain voice actualities with Blair Fishburn, Turnpike Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administration, by calling the Turnpike Information Broadcast Service at 800-563-5425.)

Harrisburg, PA -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has announced its financial results for the 1996-97 fiscal year which ended May 31, l997. The Turnpike's operating expenses were almost $6 million less than budgeted and $1.8 million less than the prior fiscal year, while operating revenue grew $11.6 million from fiscal year 1995-96. "Our financial results were outstanding as a result of traffic growth and improved expense management," said Commission Chairman James F. Malone III. "We are extremely pleased with the results of the Commission's serious and focused effort on overall business performance. The year end figures show indeed, that we've been successful in complying with the recommendation made in last year's management study that we operate the Turnpike more like a business."

Executive Director John Durbin attributed the accomplishments "to a committed management team and a hardworking devoted organization. We've achieved our financial objectives for the past two years and we intend to sustain and build on our success in this new fiscal year."

The year end financial report shows both traffic and revenue increased four percent over the prior year's levels. Overall Turnpike revenue increased from $317.9 million in fiscal year 1995-96 to $329.5 million for fiscal year 1996-97. The total number of vehicles travelling the Turnpike increased from 1995-96's 138,630,000 to 144,133,000 during the 1996-97 year.

Passenger vehicles volume increased from 121,911,000 to 126,654,000 while commercial vehicle traffic grew from 16,719,000 to 17,479,000.

The Turnpike's 1996-97 operating expense totalled $152.6 million against a $158.5 million budget and the prior year's spending level of $154.4 million.

Blair Fishburn, deputy executive director of finance and administration, said "Our revenue growth and lower spending has resulted in a year to year increase in operating earnings of more than $13 million which we have used to increase funding for Turnpike capital improvements and reduce our total outstanding bond debt."


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