2011-09-08 / Local & State

Taking The Pa. Turnpike:

There’s An App For That

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Been stuck in a backup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike?

Travelers on the highway can now get a free smartphone application that warns them of accidents, adverse weather or other advisories, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said Friday.

The commission says smartphone users can download and launch the handsfree “TRIP Talk’’ application before they travel to hear active turnpike advisories nearby.

“TRIP Talk’’ is designed to remain on during the drive, and activate automatically when approaching an area impacted by an advisory. The app employs the smartphone’s built-in GPS to determine location and will broadcast any travel alerts within a specified mile range set by the user.

Turnpike commission officials say smartphone technology is solving one of their biggest communications challenges: informing motorists about incidents before they get on the highway system, not to mention people already on the road.

“It’s like having a crystal ball that allows smartphone users see what’s ahead on the turnpike,’’ said the turnpike’s chief operating officer, Craig Shuey.

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