Turnpike Layoffs Start

The Pennsylvania Turnpike began laying off about a dozen workers Thursday after only about 20 employees accepted voluntary buyout offers designed to offset falling traffic numbers and declining toll revenues.

Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier said more jobs will be cut in the next two weeks.

Final figures on the first round of employee reductions were expected to be released later Thursday.

Workers had until Monday to decide whether to sign up for a “voluntary departure program” that offered two weeks of pay for each five years of service, to a maximum of eight weeks. Letters postmarked Monday were still being accepted Thursday.

Summer traffic volume dropped by 1.6 percent compared with last year, and the Turnpike Commission is expecting an overall 4.4 percent revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year.

The turnpike wants to cut expenses by $10 million immediately, with further cost savings expected to be
identified later.

Brimmeier has said the 545-mile highway system will not reduce services and intends to follow through on
a $500 million-a-year capital improvement effort.

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