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Contact: Lowman Henry 717-939-9551 Ext. 2934 January 2, 1997
PA TURNPIKE: TRAFFIC AND REVENUE UP, EXPENSES DOWN
Harrisburg -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's aggressive efforts to cut
costs are beginning to yield results as the superhighway ended the first half of its
1996-97 fiscal year significantly under budget. Moreover, spending during the first
two quarters of the fiscal year actually decreased by $1 million or 1.4% from the
same period last year.
Last May the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission adopted its first budget in 36
years which called for spending to decrease. The 1996-97 budget plan provided for
$81,972,000 in operating expenditures during the first two quarters of the fiscal year.
Actual operating expenditures were even lower, totaling just $71,257,000, which is
nearly $11 million under the projected spending level.
Mid-fiscal year financial reports also show both traffic and revenue have
increased over last year's levels. During the period June 1, 1996 to November 30,
1996 Turnpike operating revenue was $175,026,000, up from $169,451,000 during
the same period last year.
A total of 75,471,000 vehicles travelled on the Pennsylvania Turnpike between
June 1, 1996 and November 30, 1996. That is a 3% increase in traffic volumes from
the same six month period in 1995 when 73,270,000 vehicles utilized the Turnpike.
The number of passenger vehicles increased from 64,573,000 last year to
66,415,000 this year. Likewise, the number of commercial vehicles driving on the
Turnpike increased from the 8,698,000 commercial vehicles which used the highway
from June 1, 1995 to November 30, 1995 to the 9,056,000 commercial vehicles
which travelled the Turnpike during the same time frame this year.
"We have said all along the Turnpike could be operated more efficiently and
costs could be cut," said Executive Director John T. Durbin. "These figures show that
our cost reduction efforts are yielding results." The Pennsylvania Turnpike
Commission is in the process of implementing a management reorganization plan
developed by the Philadelphia management consulting firm of Deloitte & Touche.
The Turnpike's biggest challenge in staying under budget could be the weather.
"Every time there is a major snowstorm that requires a 24-hour snow removal
operation it costs us almost $1 million," Durbin explained. "We are well stocked with
salt and anti-skid materials and our snow removal budget is in good condition so far,
but the worst of winter still lies ahead."
P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 Phone: (717) 939-9551 Fax: (717) 986-9649