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                 September 19, 1996


        HARRISBURG -- More vehicles travelled the Pennsylvania Turnpike during the month of August than any other single month in the Turnpike's 56-year history. A total of 13,841,000 vehicles used the highway during August of 1996, up from last year's then- record level of 13,263,000 vehicles.
        Typically Turnpike usage hits a peak during the month of August as the height of the vacation season and the Labor Day holiday weekend converge to swell traffic volumes. Turnpike officials had predicted record usage for the month, but actual usage surpassed even those projections.
        Traffic on the Turnpike was up 4.4% from last August and is up 4.0% for fiscal year 1996. So far this year, 39,395,000 vehicles have used the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
        Traffic peaked on Friday, August 30th as the Labor Day weekend got underway. A total of 458,069 vehicles travelled on the Turnpike that day while 1,425,211 vehicles utilized the highway during the four-day weekend.
        "We're pleased that the Pennsylvania Turnpike is the highway of choice for an increasing number of travelers," said Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin. "Our policy of placing a premium on customer safety and convenience has resulted in a roadway on which people like to travel."
        The all-time high traffic numbers yielded record fare receipts. A total of $32,507,000 was collected during the month of August, eclipsing the previous record of $30,909,000 collected during August of 1995.
        Passenger cars accounted for $19,173,000 in fare revenue during August while commercial vehicles paid $13,334,000 in fares. A total of 12,249,000 passenger vehicles utilized the roadway while 1,592,000 commercial vehicles travelled the Turnpike during August.
        Use of the Turnpike's expansion highways (Turnpike 66 near Greensburg, the Beaver Valley Expressway (Turnpike 60) and Turnpike 43 near California) is also on the increase. Traffic on expansion highways has increased 12.3% so far this year and revenue is up 15.3%.
        And, while traffic and revenue are up, the Turnpike's aggressive cost cutting efforts have resulted in first quarter expenses coming in $8,315,000 under budget. The Commission's fiscal 1996-97 budget called for the expenditure of $45,229,000 during the first quarter. Actual expenses during June, July and August were $36,913,000.


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