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Pennsylvania Turnpike lays off 500 workers, makes all-electronic tolling permanent

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
Automobiles drive into the Fort Washington Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissioin will propose its first increase in tolls in 13 years to raise money to rebuilid bridges, tunnels and interchanges on the 63-year-old east-west highway and its Northeast Extension, agency officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner)

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will lay off 500 employees and make permanent the all-electronic tolling that was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Layoffs will begin June 18, primarily in toll and fare collection, officials said in a news release Tuesday.

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The cash-free system was put into place March 16 at the oubtreak of coronavirus to limit contact between drivers and toll collectors.

Traffic plummeted because of the pandemic by almost 50% since March compared to 2019 and toll revenues dropped by more than $100 million for the fiscal year ending May 31, the release said.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.

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