Daily News Briefs, April 3, 2020

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Chances Are, COVID-19 Measures Will Accelerate Maryland's Conversion to AET

Maryland Matters reports, the option to pay Maryland tolls in cash was already in the process of disappearing, but COVID-19 emergency measures implemented last month have probably hastened the state’s conversion to AET. “This crisis is going to accelerate a process that was already happening,” Delegate Alfred Carr, Jr. (D-Montgomery County), says. “It’s happening not just in Maryland but in a lot of states. This will just speed it up.” According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, it has distributed more than 2 million transponders, and 81 percent of state toll transactions take place via E-ZPass. What’s holding back motorists who still pay cash? No surprise, the article suggests its privacy concerns.

AET (All-Electronic Tolling) E-ZPass Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) Maryland Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)


Metro Philadelphia Transit Agency Runs Short of Protective Equipment for Employees

WHYY reports, SEPTA, the Philadelphia metropolitan area’s transit agency, needs 10,000 face masks for its frontline employees and is “struggling to respond to increasingly urgent calls from workers for more safeguards.” The article notes, “By April 1, close to two dozen SEPTA employees tested positive for the coronavirus, including some bus drivers, cashiers and other customer-facing employees in subway stations.”

Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA Metro Area


Travel and Business Is Slow to Resume after China Starts Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions

The Associated Press looks at current travel and work conditions in China, and efforts by the government to revive overall economic activity without starting a new round of COVID-19 infections. “Even after the ruling Communist Party reversed course in early March and started allowing some businesses to reopen, travel curbs remained in place in many areas, keeping workers away from their jobs. Chinese officials say state-dominated industries such as steel are almost back to normal production. But many private employers . . . say they are operating at a fraction of normal levels in part because employees haven’t come back to work.”

China Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts)


These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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