Kathy Liebler

Manager, Public Affairs & Media Relations

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


Bill Capone (717) 939-9551, ext. 3040
Kathy Liebler (717) 939-9551, ext. 2840
Carl DeFebo (717) 939-9551, ext. 2934

June 27, 2004

Valley Forge Interchange Gets Two, Harrisburg East, One

HARRISBURG, PA -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in its continuing effort to enhance its E-ZPass system, has recently opened three additional E-ZPass entry lanes and plans to add at least 15 more lanes by mid September.

At the Valley Forge Interchange, # 326, lanes five and six are now E-ZPass entry lanes and at the Harrisburg East Interchange, # 247, lane four is now an E-ZPass designated entry lane. Throughout the summer, the Turnpike is planning to make additional entry lanes E-ZPass capable at nine other Interchanges, including Mid-County # 20 and Philadelphia # 351 in the southeast and Breezewood # 161 and Irwin # 67 in the southwest.

“As our E-ZPass enrollment continues to grow, so is the Turnpike Commission’s commitment to meeting the needs of our customers,” said Joe Brimmeier, the Turnpike’s Chief Executive Officer. “Providing our customers with more ease and convenience is high on our priority list and adding more E-ZPass lanes helps us address that goal as well as our desire to reduce congestions at our high volume interchanges.”

In June the Commission opened the Turnpike’s first Express E-ZPass lanes at the Warrendale Mainline Toll Plaza , # 30, the western terminus of the Turnpike’s ticket system located in Allegheny County .

The express lanes allow E-ZPass customers entering the Pennsylvania Turnpike ticket system at Warrendale, traveling eastbound and westbound to travel through E-ZPass lanes at 55 mph and have their toll paid electronically. The speed limit through all other E-ZPass lanes remains at 5 mph.

The Warrendale Mainline Toll Plaza (#30) in Western Pennsylvania is the state’s first location for the installation of Express E-ZPass where customers can travel at highway speed through a specially designated express lane at the toll plaza and have their toll paid electronically.

“Getting through the toll facility faster means that you have more time at home or at work, whatever the destination,” said Brimmeier. “Certainly, with everyone’s hectic lives and busy lifestyles, we can all use a little more time.”

Brimmeier said that other locations for installation of Express E-ZPass are being considered at other mainline toll plazas like Gateway #2, M52 on the Mon/Fayette Expressway, the proposed I-95 interchange, Delaware River Bridge #359, and Mid-County #20 and Wyoming Valley #115 on the Northeastern Extension. Specific time frames for installation have not been determined.

“We’ve made the commitment to make E-ZPass even better by installing this new technology at Warrendale, the western terminus of our ticket system,” he concluded. “Not only will Express E-ZPass enhance and increase convenience for our customers, we’re confident it will address congestion and increase safety at the plaza.”

Since the start of E-ZPass on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, three and a half years ago, more than a half million E-ZPass transponders have been issued to Pennsylvania Turnpike customers. The Commission records 5.5 million E-ZPass transactions a month. Nearly 42 percent of all toll transactions, passenger and commercial, are E-ZPass transactions, and at some of the Turnpike’s busiest interchanges, that number increases to over 50 percent.

“E-ZPass is a tremendous success,” said Brimmeier. “And with the addition of more E-ZPass lanes and Express E-ZPass, we are building on that success. It’s what our customers want and deserve and we have every intention of serving and satisfying them.”



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