Daily News Briefs, March 25, 2024

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MTA Will Allow Some Additional Congestion Pricing Toll Exemptions

Daily News (New York) has learned that MTA plans to exempt school buses, some commuter buses and “a large swath of the city fleet” from paying tolls when congestion pricing takes effect in Manhattan. Exemptions will apply to all yellow city school buses; publicly accessible buses, whether publicly or privately operated, that run on a regular schedule; and intercity passenger bus services, including those operated by interstate firms such as MegaBus. Non-public transit, such as employee shuttles, will not be exempt. “The tolling plan previously exempted specialized, city-operated vehicles — like garbage trucks and fire engines. Going forward, the plan will exempt the bulk of the city’s municipal fleet, including small cars and trucks used by various agency inspectors and other officials.” However, MTA is not contemplating an exemption for public employees’ private vehicles. MTA officials stated that the toll structure refinements were agreed upon after the recently completed final round of public comment.

Congestion Pricing ETC Systems Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York New York City Transit and Toll Roads


Work On Colorado DOT I-70 Express Lanes Project Picks Up

Colorado DOT has initiated overnight lane closures and lane shifts on I-70 between Exits 241 and 243 to accommodate construction on the west section of the I-70 Floyd Hill Project, Unofficial Networks reports. Among other outcomes, the project will add a westbound tolled express lane to eight miles of mountainous interstate that is prone to bottlenecks. “Throughout the construction, drivers can expect alternating single-lane traffic on US 40, single-lane closures on both eastbound and westbound I-70, double right-lane closures, shoulder closures, and narrower lanes.”

KDVR reports on the status of the project and the traffic disruptions that can be expected during this summer’s construction activities.

CDOT has committed to minimizing the project’s impact on travel during the region’s ski season.

Colorado Colorado Department of Transportation Express Lanes


US Senators Encourage Buttigieg To Prioritize C-V2X Technology Implementation

“U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), chair of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to prioritize implementing connected vehicle technologies to improve American roadway safety,” Transportation Today reports. A recent letter co-signed by the senator and a bipartisan group of colleagues, expresses support for the draft of “Saving Lives with Connectivity: A Plan to Accelerate V2X Deployment” that USDOT released last October. The lawmakers also encourage Secretary Pete Buttigieg to become directly engaged in federal implementation of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology, which they recommend making part of the National Roadway Safety Strategy.

A news release issued by Senator Peters notes, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 42,795 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2022, staying consistent with 2021 figures which reflected the highest number of fatalities since 2005. NHTSA data also shows that vehicle-to-vehicle communication . . . could eliminate or mitigate the severity of up to 80 percent of non-impaired multi-vehicle light vehicle crashes.” The release includes the text of the letter to Secretary Buttigieg.

Economic & Social Considerations Affecting Transportation Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts) Intelligent Transportation Systems US Department of Transportation (USDOT) V2X and V2V Technology


Washington State DOT Will Pilot Using Drones To Eradicate Graffiti

KING5 reports, “Graffiti has been a consistent problem on [Washington State] freeways, and it’s becoming more expensive to remove. Numbers from the Washington State Department of Transportation show that the costs of cleaning up graffiti increased significantly in 2020, then shot up again last year.” Recently, Governor Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill establishing a “Graffiti Abatement and Reduction Program” that, among other things, will make innovative use of drones to apply paint over defaced infrastructure surfaces. According to one of the bill’s sponsors, “Today, you’d have to send out a crew with a high-lift truck and about eight people, and it just takes too long and is too expensive [to eradicate graffiti]. One person with a drone can paint over an area, and if you have a fleet of those, then you’re staying on top of [damage], cleaning it up, and not allowing it to stay present for a long period of time.”

Highway and Bridge Maintenance Seattle Metro Area Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) Washington State Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)


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

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