Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Seeks PR Firm Versed In Crisis

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has issued an RFP and is seeking a top notch PR firm with crisis communications experience. Total fees shall not exceed $450,000 per year. Further clarification may be made by sending an email to with RFP#15-10430-7121 Public Relations/Media Relations and Crisis Communications Services in the Subject Line to be received no later than 2:00 PM local time on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

The commission seeks a firm to assist with projects, including roadway projects, travel emergencies, the E-ZPass program, work zone safety and TripTalk. The selected firm may also be asked to provide general public relations, media relations and crisis communications counsel, on an as needed basis.

Participants are asked to submit a plan based on the following information:

The Commission will be launching a new e-Cash Toll option for motorists of the Pennsylvania Turnpike through our current Trip Talk app. The goal of this new payment option is to give our motorists a second electronic payment method in addition to E-ZPass. Currently, the E-ZPass program presents barriers to the unbanked traveler and the traveler that does not want to carry a consistent balance on their toll account. e-CashToll allows a motorist to pay PA Turnpike tolls with money put into an account on their Trip Talk app. The deduction occurs just like E-ZPass however with the e-CashToll app motorists do not need a transponder or a credit card to link to the account.

How e-CashToll Works:

Activate the e-CashToll app for the first time.

• The app will automatically assign your device a unique account number for e-CashToll.
• Simply enter your vehicle’s license plate number into the app.
• After first activation, reenter license information only if you get a new license plate or new mobile device.

Put money into the e-CashToll account.

• Go to a participating retailer.
• Let the clerk scan the bar code on the app, and give the clerk a cash payment.
• The clerk’s system will send the deposit information to the e-CashToll system – the payment will print on your receipt, and on your app.

Drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

• With the app active, just drive the toll road as usual, but now use the E-ZPass lanes.
• The app will track entry and exit and calculate the toll, and register the deduction.
The Backend Process:

Interface with accounting system.

• Violator license plates and weight class are matched to e-CashToll registered users.
• If both plate and class match, no violation is issued.
• If plate matches but class is different, an adjustment is made to the e-CashToll user account.
• If no match, or incomplete data, then violation processed as usual.

Interface with retail store.

• Settlement of funds between the retailer and the agency occurs as usual.

Interface with customer.

• Record of trip, deposits and tolls assessed available on app (and web).
• A credit card could be used to make deposits instead of cash.
• If done in conjunction with a GeoTalker app, all other Trip Talk functions continue as usual, broadcasting ongoing audio information nearby the traveler.

The selected firm is expected to commence work quickly. Will it be a local firm from Philadelphia or somewhere else in Penn, or a non-local firm? Good fee for a government project.

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