HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — About 500 fare collectors and other toll workers along the Pennsylvania Turnpike are about to those their jobs.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to make the entire interstate network a cashless system.

The system was implemented on March 16 as a precaution due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The cuts are the latest development in the agency’s multi-year transition from a system that’s largely relied on workers stationed in toll booths to collect cash to one that employs E-ZPass as well as automated license readers.

Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton said in a news release, “I deeply regret that we have reached this point, but the world has been irrevocably changed by the global pandemic. This pandemic had a much greater impact than anyone could have foreseen. The PA Turnpike has not been spared from COVID-19.”

The job losses will begin June 18, and the commission said some health benefits will remain in place for two years.

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