Auditor general criticizes free rides for Turnpike workers, vendors

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Auditor General Jack Wagner called on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to tighten its rules on free rides for employees and vendors, saying 7,000 people get the perk.

In a press conference this afternoon, Mr. Wagner said a lax policy between January 2007 and August 2011 that meant that the Turnpike lost at least $7.7 million in potential toll revenue.

Mr. Wagner said he plans to release a final audit report on the Turnpike to the public before his term expires next month.

Mr. Wagner said that the toll-free travel was awarded in several ways, including photo identification cards for employees, non-photo cards for contractors and others, and special E-ZPass transponders for employees and others. Mr. Wagner said his auditors found that the 7,000 people who could ride the turnpike for free represented a 60-percent increase from 1997.

Wagner said that his auditors found the Turnpike Commission reported that it does not monitor its employees' use of E-ZPass transponders and does not segregate business and personal travel.

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