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

Media Contact:  

Bill Capone, 717-939-9551, ext. 3040
Carl DeFebo, 717-920-7176

October 22 , 2004

Pa. Turnpike Will Remain Operational
In the Event of a Union Work Stoppage

Turnpike officials reassure motorists that the toll road will stay open during a strike; emergency fare-collection plan calls for the collection of a temporary “flat toll.”


HARRISBURG, PA. (OCT. 22, 2004) — A contract negotiating session between the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and some 2,000 union employees, including toll collectors and maintenance workers, has been scheduled for Monday Oct. 25. The union workers — represented by Teamsters Locals 77 and 250 — have been working under a contract that officially expired Sept. 30, 2003.

Turnpike Chief Executive Officer Joseph Brimmeier said, “We remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached with our union workers. Our goal is to negotiate a contract that is fair to our employees, and we will make every effort to accomplish that objective during this bargaining session.”

Brimmeier said that because the union has asked its members to be prepared to take “alternative measures” if an agreement is not reached, “we must be prepared for the possibility of a work stoppage.”

He said that the Commission is prepared to keep the 531-mile long highway system open to the traveling public — and that all interchanges will be staffed with toll collectors. “We are absolutely committed to serving our customers and maintaining a high level of safety and service on the road,” he reassured motorists.

Brimmeier said that, in the event of a work stoppage, the Commission plans to charge E-ZPass and cash customers temporary flat toll rates of $2 for passenger vehicles and $15 for commercial vehicles — regardless of distances traveled. No toll tickets will be issued at entry.

For E-ZPass customers with fares less than $2 (passenger vehicles) and less than $15 (commercial vehicles), their accounts will be charged the actual fare. He added that commercial credit cards will not be accepted for toll payment. Toll collectors will accept only cash.

“Over the past year, we have met several times to reach a settlement,” Brimmeier said. “I regret this goal still has not been reached, but I remain hopeful that it will soon be resolved.”



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