November 20, 2020 Travel Advisory

PA Turnpike Thanksgiving Traffic Expected to be Lighter this Year

Travelers reminded to get their E-ZPass and use 511PA app for traffic updates.

Middletown, Pa. – This is typically the time that travelers would hit the road to join family and friends in holiday celebrations. This year, however, given various restrictions in most states to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the PA Turnpike is projecting a 20 percent downturn in traffic for the Thanksgiving holiday, as compared to the same time last year.

“With the guidance not to travel, you will find fewer cars on our roadway than in prior years during this holiday,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “However, if you do need to be on the roadway, you should plan ahead, take health and safety precautions, and pay attention to what is happening.”

Part of that preparation should include downloading the 511PA app which is designed to help all motorists reach their destination in the most efficient manner when traveling in Pennsylvania.

The 511PA platform offers a suite of traveler resources like the mobile app, a personal alerts subscription service,  a website with a travel conditions map and access to travel information by dialing 511 from any phone, which provides motorists one source to get all the travel information they need in one seamless service.  This includes travel advisories for the PA Turnpike and PennDOT roadways throughout the Commonwealth.

For more information about the 511PA Travel Program and to sign up for personal alerts, the travelling public should visit

Additionally, the PA Turnpike is now an all-electronic tolling, or cashless, roadway. Travelers are encouraged to secure an E-ZPass in advance of their trip for the most efficient and least expensive way to pay tolls.

Most Pennsylvania top grocery chains offer E-ZPass GoPaks, including Giant Eagle, Acme, Giant Food Stores and Wegmans. In addition, travelers can pick up an E-ZPass GoPak — which includes a transponder that must be registered before it is used — at all 17 Turnpike service plazas and Pennsylvania AAA offices.

To find a location nearby, visit

Those without E-ZPass will be invoiced via the PA Toll by Plate program within 30 days of their trip. For more information on that program click here

The PA Turnpike projects approximately 2.8 million vehicles over the six-day holiday period starting on Tuesday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 29.  The periods of heaviest traffic will be 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and Wednesday, Nov. 25. Thanksgiving Day is when traffic will be at its lightest.

Travelers can find COVID-19 travel information here:

PA Turnpike

Travelers to PA

To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via mobile phone. To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or travel information, use one of these resources:




  • Pennsylvania Turnpike Customer Assistance Center: 1-877-736-6727, Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (Outside U.S., please call 717-831-7601)

Rosanne Placey, 717-675-4362
Kathleen Walter, 267-326-3856