Pennsylvania pays rough riders to rate roads

| 9/3/2002

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently got an earful from 80 state residents it paid for their opinions on the smoothness of roads. PennDOT says smoothing roads has been one of its top priorities lately.

Residents were paid $50 a pop to ride around in a state van commenting on the smooth ride. Residents also were asked about lane and shoulder width, sight distances and if road signs were effective.

The information collected will be sent to contractors to compile and return to PennDOT. Contractors are paid bonuses if the roads built meet or exceed a predetermined level of smoothness.

The payouts reportedly broke down to about $11 an hour for each participant, which PennDOT says was a reasonable return for the time and effort that people gave the survey.