Audi will discuss its electrification efforts in a series called Tech Talks, and it held the first installment Tuesday, emphasizing its goal of spending $13 billion to develop 30 electric car models by 2025. Each model will use one of four platforms, two of which offer 800 volts of power.
Numerous logistics companies are rolling out services to mitigate issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic, such as startup Flowspace, which is providing free storage and inbound transportation for nonprofits assisting with relief efforts, and Tenstreet, which is offering free driver onboarding services. Likewise, Onfleet is providing a free job board for drivers, and Uptake is giving free predictive maintenance software to fleet operators.
Toll operators continue to play a key role in the transportation industry and will certainly require federal financial relief due to the coronavirus pandemic, writes Neil Gray, government affairs director for IBTTA. Although publicly managed toll roads are generally in strong financial positions and public-private partnerships are likely to bounce back quickly after the pandemic, "the speed and scope" of the outbreak has been beyond what contingency planning accounted for, Gray writes.
Reversible commuter express lanes on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Florida are now serving eastbound-only traffic, according to the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority. The change will allow express travel between Brandon and downtown Tampa.
Australian toll road operator Transurban said it will provide relief to small businesses and customers through fee waivers, extended payment terms and broader hardship programs even as traffic declines due to the coronavirus pandemic, says CEO Scott Charlton. "We think it's more important that we dedicate significant resources to help those people in most need," Charlton says.
The North Lake Shore Drive Take Force is currently considering five scenarios for accommodating buses on Chicago's shoreline highway. The solutions, which include managed lanes and bus-only lanes, would reduce trip times on Lake Shore Drive by an average of five to 20 minutes, the task force said.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is accepting feedback on a proposal to add tolls to Interstate 5 and I-205 as a way to ease traffic congestion on Portland metro area freeways. The region will see a 35% increase in population and 1.8 million more trips per weekday on its highways by 2024, according to ODOT's 2018 Traffic Performance Report.
Average truck speeds have risen in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago during the coronavirus pandemic due to a decrease in commuter traffic, according to an American Transportation Research Institute report. "As other traffic dissipates, trucks continue to move, delivering much-needed relief supplies to markets, hospitals, gas stations and other essential businesses," says ATRI President and Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Brewster.
Fitch Ratings maintained its BBB rating for the Colorado Department of Transportation's $276 million C-470 express lane project. The rating could change if the 12.5-mile road project is completed and opened during a period of traffic decline, such as during the coronavirus pandemic, said Scott Monroe, director of Fitch's Global Infrastructure and Project Finance Group.
President Donald Trump has joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in calling for $2 trillion in infrastructure spending as a way to create jobs after the large number of layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Trump tweeted that low interest rates make it an ideal time to pass an infrastructure spending bill.
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