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   

Carl DeFebo
Pennsylvania Turnpike
717-939-9551, extension 2934

January 28, 2000

Lisa Ihde
Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association

Advertisements focus on spreading safety related messages to travelers.

HARRISBURG, PA. — Beginning this week, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is using its 128 ticket dispensers to deliver safety related advertising messages to the 10 million motorists entering at Turnpike toll plazas every month. The advertisements are being posted on the familiar yellow machines at 41 toll plazas in all, including 32 on the Turnpike’s east-west mainline and an additional nine on the Northeastern Extension (I-476).

"Because the Turnpike is committed to the well being of our customers and our employees, the ticket-machine ads will focus on safety," said Turnpike Executive Director John Durbin. "There are many safety reminders that we can communicate to our customers, and the first will be related to safe use of cellular telephones."

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is among the first toll authorities in the United States to undertake such a unique advertising program. "Certainly, we’re the first to do so on such a grand scale, rolling out the signs on all of our ticket machines at once," Durbin said.

The ticket-machine program is part of a continuing effort by the Pennsylvania Turnpike to maximize non-fare income while providing an added service to those who travel the highway.

"All Turnpike users will benefit from this, because the proceeds from the sale of the advertisements go into our general operating account and help us to maintain and improve our roadway," Durbin explained.

Turnpike officials hope to generate $250,000 in additional annual revenue from the ticket-machine advertising in its inaugural year with the potential to earn upwards of $350,000 in future years.

The premier advertisement, a safety message from Pennsylvania wireless service providers, was unveiled this week. It urges travelers to use wireless phones safely and reminds motorists that they can dial *11 on wireless phones in case of an emergency on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Funded by a coalition of wireless companies in Pennsylvania, the message will be on display through May.

"The Pennsylvania wireless service providers are pleased to join the Turnpike Commission in the important effort to educate drivers about highway safety," said Lisa Ihde, manager of wireless education programs for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association in Washington, D.C. She noted that the Turnpike project is just one of several public-safety programs that the nation’s wireless providers are promoting.

"In all of these initiatives, which include the distribution of public-service announcements, we are driving home the reminder that ‘Safety is your most important call,’" Ihde pointed out.

Businesses interesting in advertising on the ticket machines can obtain more information by calling Travelers Marketing at 1-877-416-5008.

"If your business has a message that’s relevant to Turnpike travelers, this is certainly a great opportunity to reach our 325,000 customers a day," Durbin concluded. "We happily welcome all appropriate announcements."


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