Daily News Briefs, November 29, 2023

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New York Thruway Staffing And Payroll Have Dropped Significantly Since 2017

Empire Center for Public Policy, in its latest annual analysis of state government employment, reports that New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) payroll costs dropped 16 percent between 2017 and last year, a 30 percent reduction when adjusted for inflation. In dollars, annual payroll expenditures — not including pensions and benefits for current and retired employees — went down from $152 million to $128 million. NYSTA cut nearly half its workforce over the same period as it replaced toll collection staff with a new AET system.

The Empire Center’s compilation of payroll data on 383 agencies is accessible at the SeeThroughNY.net website.

AET (All-Electronic Tolling) Company and Agency Financial Issues And Reports Infrastructure Workforce Issues New York New York State Thruway Authority Toll Collectors

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Bestpass Acquires Fleetworthy To Provide Safety And Compliance Monitoring Solutions

Bestpass, the payment platform provider specializing in toll management solutions, announced yesterday that it has acquired Fleetworthy Solutions, a provider of safety, regulatory and risk management solutions for commercial fleets. The acquisition will allow Bestpass to expand operations and provide a comprehensive suite of services that “cover all aspects of tolling, compliance, and safety for commercial fleets of all sizes.” According to the news release, “The combined company will have a strong competitive advantage in the market, as it will be able to provide a powerful set of dashboards and analytics for fleet compliance, safety and operations.” Tom Fogarty, CEO of Bestpass, commented, “We know fleet and driver safety is a top priority with our customers. It’s why we sought collaboration with a premier provider to incorporate safety and compliance solutions into our comprehensive range of services.” The two companies will continue to operate under their own brands. Terms of the transaction, which has already closed, were not provided. Bestpass services already extend to every major US toll road and support more than 30,000 customers.

TRN notes that Bestpass recently made the FreightTech 25 list, a recognition that it is one of the year’s “most innovative and disruptive companies in the transportation industry.”

Acquisitions and Mergers Bestpass

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Connecticut Lawmakers Balk At Prohibiting Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales By 2035

Connecticut Mirror reports, after it became clear that a Connecticut legislative committee was prepared to vote on a bipartisan basis to kill regulations prohibiting new gasoline-powered vehicle sales by 2035, Governor Ned Lamont (D) withdrew the regulations from review. A Lamont spokesperson said the administration still supports “legislative efforts to keep Connecticut moving towards zero-emission vehicles” and promised to begin talks about a substitute plan. At least some committee members acted on the belief that a 2035 deadline is too ambitious and said they prefer following a proposed US EPA standard that would require 67 percent of light-duty vehicles and 25 percent of heavy trucks sold in the country by 2032 to have zero-emission engines. The article provides an overview of what Connecticut and some other states are doing to phase-out fossil fuel vehicles and otherwise reduce vehicle carbon emissions.

In a follow-up article, Connecticut Mirror notes,”With choreographed expressions of contrition and determination, Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders acknowledged Tuesday their failure to make a convincing case for phasing out sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 and pledged to quickly find a new path forward.” House Speaker Matt Ritter (D) told reporters Connecticut should remain committed to a 2035 phase-out date, but only if “residents can be assured that the phase-out of gasoline-powered vehicles is practical and will not be financially ruinous to consumers. . . . Implicit in Ritter’s remarks was a suggestion that the Lamont administration and the legislature’s Democratic majorities had failed to make those important assurances to the public.”

Connecticut Economic & Social Considerations Affecting Transportation Environmental Protection Policies Procedures And Initiatives US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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

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