Turnpike Website Gets Extreme Makeover

turnpike new websiteWhen it came time to do an extreme Web site makeover, New Jersey Turnpike Authority officials looked to the people driving the two big toll roads for direction. The result is a new Web site that debuted on March 30 that doesn’t bury the news drivers want about traffic tie-ups, accidents and construction. “We saw that a majority of people were looking for traffic information and highway cameras, and we tried to put that up front,” said Joe Orlando, authority spokesman. Officials looked at the old Web site and found that the sections getting the most hits were those with traffic information, he said.

The home page was rebuilt to feature the same interactive statewide highway map featured on the Department of Transportation’s site; traffic updates on the Parkway and Turnpike; rotating cameras images from each highway; and a “newsroom” for breaking news about the authority.

“The thing that people are the most interested in is traffic information,” Orlando said.

“We took the 511 map and put in the (Turnpike and Parkway) traffic updates, which is what everyone needs and looks for.”

The Web site redo has been in the works since last summer, he said.

Officials looked at Web sites from other agencies for ideas and factored in comments from toll road customers.

“We received comments from people about what they wanted to see,” Orlando said. “You can’t go wrong following that advice.”

In addition to traffic information, the new Web site lists amenities and current gasoline prices at each service area via an interactive map of each highway.

In addition to driver friendly information, watch dogs of the state’s two biggest toll roads also have access to more information about the agency’s finance and operations, including a map of capital projects, financial reports, meeting minutes and accident statistics.

Even more features are coming, including a toll calculator for each road and the ability for drivers to select a highway camera by location for a real-time look at traffic conditions. The Web camera should be up and running by the summer, Orlando said.

Drivers also can sign up for E-ZPass or check their E-ZPass account through the Web site.

The Authority’s new Web site can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/turnpike/¬†APP

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