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For Immediate Release: 11/22/2011
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office
(617) 973-8472

Thanksgiving-Eve Tolls Free for Turnpike Drivers

Zappos.com to Sponsor Turnpike Tolls at Interchanges 18, 19, 20 as part of “Happiness Campaign”

BOSTON — Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey announced today that tolls for both eastbound and westbound drivers at the Allston/Brighton toll plazas (interchanges 18, 19 and 20) on the Massachusetts Turnpike will be free for drivers the evening before Thanksgiving, thanks to a partnership with Zappos.com, a leading online destination for apparel and footwear sales.

Zappos.com will pay the tolls between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23. Fast Lane customers will receive the benefit as well and will see a credit and message from Zappos.com on their next statement.

“Our roads across the Commonwealth are heavily traveled the day before Thanksgiving,” said Secretary Davey. “By teaming up with Zappos, it is my hope that we can make drivers a little less stressed about their commute during the holiday.”

Matt Burchard, Zappos.com Sr. Director of Marketing, Photo, and Video, hopes this small gesture will help brighten the day for weary holiday travelers in Massachusetts. "Zappos is a company that was built upon service, and making people happy. We saw this as an opportunity to give thanks and hopefully make people happy.  It feels like the right time of year, and appropriate place, to do that."

Zappos.com will pay for all tolls and signage announcing the free tolls. Drivers must still stop at the tollbooth or go through the FastLane with their transponders.

“Anything that can make the Thanksgiving holiday commute happier is certainly appreciated by travelers on one of the busiest days of the year,” said Greg Bialecki, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “We look forward to making traveling to any of the great, historic destinations in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving a little bit brighter for the thousands of people who go through the tolls.”

Last year, 160,000 toll transactions were made at the featured interchanges on the night before Thanksgiving. Approximately 16,000 transactions occurred between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., an increase of 1,300 transactions from 2009.

During the six-day Thanksgiving travel period, the majority of visitors come to Massachusetts to spend time with family and friends. The number of long-distance trips (traveling more than 50 miles) increases by 54 percent. Based on data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism estimates that Massachusetts would see more than 500,000 visitors during Thanksgiving week. 

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.

About Zappos.com

Established in 1999, Zappos.com, operated by Zappos Development, has quickly become the leading destination in online apparel and footwear sales by striving to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection.  More information about their customer service philosophy, unique culture, and job openings can be found at http://about.zappos.com. More information about Zappos Insights, and its business membership program can be found at http://www.zapposinsights.com.  

For Zappos media inquiries contact:
Diane Coffey, Kel & Partners, 617-904-9393 x117, diane@kelandpartners.com