News roundup, March 25: Pennsylvania reopens more rest areas; truck stop chain suspends paid parking

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020:

Pennsylvania reopens more rest areas, facilities
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reopening indoor facilities at 23 select rest areas across the state to all motorists, including the 13 facilities in critical locations that were reopened March 18 with portable restrooms and handwashing facilities.

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Open locations include seven along I-79, eight along I-80, six along I-81, and two along I-84. A full list of open locations can be found here.

PennDOT’s 30 rest areas were temporarily closed statewide on March 17 in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19 to ensure that proper safety and sanitation protocols were in place, according to a statement from the agency.

All reopened rest areas will return to normal service with additional cleaning and maintenance.

Sapp Bros. truck stops suspend paid parking
Independent truck stop chain Sapp Bros. announced Tuesday it is suspending truck parking during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Effective immediately: In response to COVID-19, we’re suspending paid parking at all our locations for the time being,” the company said in a statement. “All truck parking is free for now. We remain open at all locations to serve you. Thank you, drivers!”

The company operates 17 truck stops in Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

McDonald’s expanding options for truckers
In an open letter to truck drivers Monday, March 23, fast food giant McDonald’s acknowledged the difficulty truckers are having finding food during the novel coronavirus pandemic with many restaurants closing and others not offering truck parking.

McDonald’s says it realizes drivers can’t bring their rigs through drive-thrus and, for safety reasons, drivers can’t walk up to drive-thru windows.

To help truckers, the company recommends truckers use the McDonald’s app to order and pay when they arrive at a restaurant. When ordering, drivers should choose the Curbside Service option, then walk to the designated “Trucker” curbside sign on the sidewalk outside the door and enter the appropriate curbside trucker number to have the food brought out to you.

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