Mills the Moose in Maine, of course

September 6, 2011

At the Maine Turnpike they have a tradition of entertaining motorists waiting in line at the York toll plaza by having a staffer walk the lanes in a moose suit. The idea of the late Dan Paradee, former PR at the Turnpike, the man moose was dubbed Miles (like 1.6km).

Sometimes Miles the Moose was backed up by another weird suited figure, a clawless lobster, named of course: D Claude Lobster. (Groan here)

Usually it's toll collectors who silly-suit up in Maine, but this Labor Day the Turnpike CEO Peter Mills was The Moose.

Hence its now Mills the Moose, not Miles.

Moose or lobster, CEO or toll collector, the silly suited ones chat with waiting motorists and hand out flyers listing future tourist events in Maine plus reminder Maine magnets for the fridge door.

Mills told the local news service "The business of the turnpike is to get people to come to Maine."

He said everyone was friendly except the dogs along for the ride. Supporters of free flow tolling the smarter canines obviously saw the Turnpike's schmoozing as just a coverup for the delays getting home!

Traffic up

Over the four days of the Labor Day holiday the York toll plaza handled 233,100 toll transactions, a 5.3% increase over last year - a happy result for the Turnpike which had expected traffic would be down.

Maybe Boston and New York people who'd normally travel to Vermont decided Maine was a better destination given the devastation in Vermont from storms and floods.

see local report:

TOLLROADSnews 2011-09-06

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