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October 2020

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Wadud Ahmad Nominated as a PTC Commissioner

PTC Commissioner Wadud Ahmad, Esq.

Wadud Ahmad, Esq., a founding partner in the Philadelphia law firm Ahmad Zaffarese LLC, former vice chair of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, and an Advisory Committee member for PhilaPort, the Port of Philadelphia, joined his first Commission hearing this month.

“I feel quite honored to have been chosen by Gov. Wolf as the newest PTC Commissioner. I thank him, along with the members of the Pennsylvania Senate, for placing their faith and trust in me to do this job. Diversity, transparency and collaboration are among the key values I bring to any public or private venture, and I look forward to serving my fellow Pennsylvanians in this capacity,” Commissioner Ahmad said.

A graduate of the Widener University School of Law and Temple University, he previously worked as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Commissioner Ahmad’s practice areas at Ahmad Zaffarese include municipal/corporate finance and commercial litigation. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Young Lawyer’s Award from the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia.

Gov. Tom Wolf nominated Commissioner Ahmad, who was confirmed by the PA Senate in September. Commissioner Ahmad assumes the seat of the late Barry J. Drew.

For more information, please click here.

PA Turnpike Autumn Landscape

PTC Introduces Autumn Safety Travel Initiative

Pennsylvania has a well-deserved reputation as a fall travel destination as leaves turn, hunters take to the woods, and the deer population is on the move. The fall season can also bring safety concerns, so PTC has launched a Ramp Up for Autumn Travel web feature to help motorists plan ahead and remain safe while on our system.

“The fall is great in Pennsylvania and we all enjoy getting outdoors, but we do want to make sure travelers stay safe,” PTC CEO Mark Compton said. “We’re reminding motorists to be on the lookout for increased deer activity this time of year and to watch for slick roads caused by wet leaves. As beautiful as they may be on trees, they do cause traction issues when they fall onto our roads.”

Visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website for information and maps of state game lands.

PTC CEO Mark Compton

CEO Mark Compton Elected IBTTA President

PTC CEO Mark Compton has been elected to serve as the next president of the International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association for owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them.

Compton was elected during IBTTA’s annual meeting, convened virtually this year. He delivered the president’s remarks at the close of the meeting to more than 1,000 participants. The theme for Compton’s remarks, which were designed to lay the groundwork for the upcoming year, was “Leading Through Disruption,” which was selected well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck our nation.

“What a long, strange trip it’s been this past year. We started out about a year ago thinking that our theme was going to be ‘Lead by Disruption,’ and that had a lot to do with all the advancements in technology and all the advancements in tolling that were made. Little did we know then that this much disruption would take hold of us in 2020. I think we can all agree that we have experienced unprecedented disruptions to our revenue, traffic numbers, and operations of both our systems and our offices.”

Compton cited the industry’s transition to All-Electronic Tolling and the swift transition to remote working for agencies amid the pandemic. In his speech, Compton quoted former Intel CEO Andy Grove, who said, “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.” He added that IBTTA and its member agencies continue to adapt to the challenges.

“I don’t know what 2021 holds for us. But no matter what is thrown at us … I think we know we are going to become stronger,” Compton said.

Click here to view Compton’s speech.

80th PA Turnpike birthday icon

PTC Celebrates 80th Birthday with a New Webpage

The PTC marks its 80th birthday this month with the launch of a History webpage. The page chronicles eight decades and includes a detailed timeline and in-depth videos, as well as an Exit & Explore resource that includes vintage photos and attractions at each interchange along the original 160 miles of the PA Turnpike. The PA Turnpike was the first of its kind and received nationwide acclaim as an engineering marvel. It was touted as America’s First Superhighway when it opened on Oct. 1, 1940, and it was the national standard for superhighway design and engineering.

Traffic Volume and Revenue

While some family leisure travel is returning to the PA Turnpike, commuting traffic is still well below pre-pandemic levels. The significant loss in overall toll revenues since the start of the pandemic means the PA Turnpike will be feeling the dramatic financial impact of COVID-19 for years to come.

PA Turnpike Traffic Volume chart for 2020 vs. 2019

PA Turnpike Traffic Revenue chart for 2020 vs. 2019