New York Traffic Eases in Sign of Further Dwindling Fuel Demand
(Bloomberg) -- Fewer New York City drivers passed over toll bridges this month as the pandemic worsened, a signal that fuel demand will further weaken as the city faces tighter restrictions in the month ahead.
Traffic on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, linking Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, was down a combined 4.6% during the first work week after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday from a month earlier, according to data released this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The bridges are some of the busiest in the New York toll operations. The pandemic has hit gasoline demand this year. U.S. government figures show national consumption at the weakest seasonally in decades.
The slowdown in New York City traffic shows the impact of the growing coronavirus outbreak. The citywide infection rate topped 5% last week and city schools shut in late November. Most schools reopened this week, but other restrictions will be imposed. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that restaurant owners should expect more curbs in a couple of days.
The MTA has collected fewer tolls since a peak in September of more than 26 million toll-paying motorists. In November, the figure dropped to about 19 million.
New York City toll traffic during the week that included Thanksgiving was down 7.7% from the previous week, the data show.
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