Some workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus could get a break when using the Dulles Greenway in Virginia.
Atlas Arteria, the effective owner of the Dulles Greenway, announced its global program to allow health care professionals and first responders to ride free on its toll roads.
“It’s something that we can do to show recognition for people who are really important for the health and safety of those people around us,” said James Lerner, U.S. Operation director for Atlas Arteria.
It’s part of a toll reimbursement program announced on Monday. It will apply to trips on the road between April 1 and June 30.
“That window may be extended depending on lockdown measures, but that’s the initial period we’re targeting,” Lerner said.
Paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officers are eligible to apply for the program. So are people in the medical field, including nurses, doctors, caregivers and others.
Lerner said this program is in addition to the company’s current waiving of unpaid toll administrative fees. The company said it is offering a similar program for roads it operates in both France and Germany.
Those eligible must supply an official copy of documents that indicates their role or job. Once enrolled, trips on the road will be charged to E-ZPass accounts but then offset by a reimbursement to the account.
As for eligibility, Lerner said some people on the front lines will not fall clearly under one of the categories of jobs listed.
Some examples, Lerner said, are people temporarily volunteering to help during the crisis or someone who is taking care of a loved one who has fallen ill with COVID-19.
“It’s those sorts of cases that we would still like people to let us know about, and we’ll assist those on a case-by-case basis,” Lerner said.
Traffic and revenue has been down for the Dulles Greenway in the past weeks with people staying home.
Lerner said traffic from January through the end of March is down almost 16%, and revenues are down almost 13%. A similar story is playing out for April and May.
The western end of the Dulles Toll Road is connected to the Dulles Greenway, which runs between Dulles International Airport and Leesburg. The Dulles Toll Road is operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and is not affiliated with the Dulles Greenway.
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