COVID-19’s impact on transportation in Alabama

COVID-19's impact on transportation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - There are some interesting numbers affecting several forms of travel in Alabama due to the spread of Coronavirus.

According to UA researchers, travel is down about between third to a third and half in the state of Alabama, meaning more of you are spending less time in your cars and on the roads. That is good news for social distancing efforts.

The downfall is revenue is taking a hit because of gas prices. Public transportation in Tuscaloosa is down because of the the 24-hour curfew.

However the city is still allowing about 10 people on a bus at a time for essential workers and those that need food or medicine.

ALDOT said the traffic count on I-20/59 around Tuscaloosa is down approximately 40 percent from the beginning and end of March 2020.

Steven Polunsky, director of the Alabama Transportation Policy Research Center, said the state has a back-up plan, though if fuel tax money coming in continues to reduce due to COVID-19 effects.

“When less gas is being pumped that’s less revenue, because we pay per gallon so that’s less revenue available, Alabama is fortunate that the legislature passed the re-build Alabama act which provides a cushion. ALDOT is taking advantage of that to accelerate projects where they can,” said Polunksky.

Experts also said air travel has been hit hard, just last week TSA screenings were down 90 percent nationally.

On the upside for truckers, because demand for more essential items are growing due to more people being at home, they are still actively on the road transporting items at high rates.

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