TOP STORIES

Southeast Partnership offers menu of funding solutions for impending ‘cliff’

The Southeast Partnership for Mobility, which consists of SEPTA, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and PennDOT, joined a growing number of entities this week in sounding an alarm over a rapidly approaching transportation funding… [read more]

Southeast Partnership offers menu of funding solutions for impending ‘cliff’ Southeast Partnership offers menu of funding solutions for impending ‘cliff’

TAC report paints glum picture of transportation funding

Most readers of this publication and George Wolff’s Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition newsletter are aware of the transportation funding issues facing the Commonwealth. Those issues include the lack of progress in… [read more]

TAC report paints glum picture of transportation funding TAC report paints glum picture of transportation funding

Capital Beltway tabbed for major improvements

Those who commute on Harrisburg’s Capital Beltway received good news as we rang in the new year, with PennDOT announcing a couple of big-ticket projects involving Interstates 83 and 81 and Route 581. Plans call for widening… [read more]

Capital Beltway tabbed for major improvements Capital Beltway tabbed for major improvements

Wolf administration begins search for public transit solution

Faced with the expiration of a $400 million subsidy from the Turnpike for public transportation, the Wolf administration is beginning to set the stage for replacing that revenue. PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards, at the Associated… [read more]

Wolf administration begins search for public transit solution Wolf administration begins search for public transit solution

Rafferty named PHIA Advocate of the Year; Senate approves automated speed enforcement

PHIA has had an eventful couple of weeks, beginning with our annual transportation conference last week and capped by the state Senate’s 47-1 concurrence vote on the long-awaited automated speed enforcement bill on Tuesday. Due… [read more]

Rafferty named PHIA Advocate of the Year; Senate approves automated speed enforcement Rafferty named PHIA Advocate of the Year; Senate approves automated speed enforcement

NEWS & UPDATES

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 17

April 22, 2019 -- Leave a Comment

Finally automating the PA Turnpike could ease money woes, But what about toll collectors?

The transition to an all-electronic tolling system has been nearly a decade in the making; the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission first commissioned a feasibility study in 2010.

PennDOT expects to begin new $300M program for rural roads, municipal bridges this year

A year ago, Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation included $300 million in the state budget for new programs to pave low-volume rural and commercial roads and fix structurally deficient bridges owned by municipalities. Then Mother Nature stepped in.

Interstate system deteriorating, with no fix in sight

A recent 600-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine — commissioned by the U.S. Transportation Department — concluded that federal funding for interstates should be increased from about $25 billion a year to $45 billion to $70 billion a year for the next 20 years just to bring the highways up to current design standards.

Lawmakers are trying to stop privatization of free medical trips for Medicaid recipients 

State lawmakers from rural Pennsylvania are pushing back on a privatization measure slipped into last year’s state budget that would affect transportation for at least 150,000 Medicaid recipients.

Pa Turnpike to seek feedback on possible resumption of mass transit borrowing

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has decided to seek feedback from the bond market as it mulls possible resumption of borrowing for mass transit, borrowing that has been suspended due to a lawsuit over toll hikes.

 

News, PHIA Programs & Awards

2019 Road and Bridge Safety Award Program Open for PA’s Boroughs

April 22, 2019 -- Leave a Comment

Each year the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) team with various state organizations to recognize the best road safety or bridge improvement projects undertaken across the state.  For the 37th straight year, the program is now open for Pennsylvania’s boroughs.  Eligible projects are those in which most or all of the safety improvements were completed in 2018.  The competition recognizes not only major, high-cost projects, but any improvements that have increased public safety.

Go here for complete information including the entry brochure. The deadline is May 3, 2019.

 

News

Small businesses feel a bigger pinch from deteriorating infrastructure

April 18, 2019 -- Leave a Comment

Transportation funding advocates often support their case with the assertion that a sub-par transportation system is bad for business and the economy. But which sectors of the economy suffer the most?

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, small business owners are more likely to feel the pain of higher maintenance costs, safety risks and the anxiety of trying to move people, products and materials through increasingly congested regions of the country.

Conversely, small businesses can be the greatest beneficiaries of infrastructure investment, according to Ed Mortimer, the U.S. Chamber’s vice president of transportation infrastructure policy.

Among the U.S. Chamber’s three million members, 96 percent have fewer than 100 employees, and 75 percent have fewer than 10.

“This shows why the highway construction industry and transportation advocacy organizations such as the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition receive such a positive reception when we reach out to local Chambers across the Commonwealth,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.

“Virtually every Chamber we’ve visited over the last several years has strongly supported a reasonable level of transportation funding because they know how important that is to local businesses, most of which are small.”

The U.S. Chamber’s position on transportation can be found here.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 16

April 15, 2019 -- Leave a Comment

PennDOT project in Northumberland joins thruway in costing more due to unexpected findings

The estimated cost of the Duke Street reconstruction project in Northumberland has jumped from $13.7 million to $15.2 million.

Returning to stickers for Pa. car registrations: ‘A public safety issue’ or an annoying backtrack?

Under Rep. Barry Jozwiak’s plan, annual safety inspections and registration would become a two-step process, resulting in a single, two-purpose sticker to be affixed to license plates, just like the old days. Emissions check stickers would stay as they are.

Pa. lawmakers try to stop switch of paratransit funding to private brokers

State lawmakers Tuesday moved to delay — and eventually kill, they hope — a planned funding change that could severely reduce subsidized rides to doctors’ offices and other medical appointments for the poor and elderly in Pennsylvania.

Next leg of Allegheny Township hiking, biking trail to be completed this summer

Work on the next leg of the Wynn and Clara Tredway Trail might begin by the end of April. The goal is to have the project done by late August.

Small business owners bear brunt of costs from deteriorating infrastructure

From product damage and vehicle maintenance to employee safety, small business owners are dealing with the day-to-day costs and concerns of stalled infrastructure investment. There has been some movement at the state level, with Ohio, Alabama, and Arkansas passing gas tax legislation in 2019 to help fund infrastructure work, but Congress has remained stagnant on any overarching federal infrastructure legislation.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 15

April 11, 2019 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 15

Judge rejects lawsuit over Pennsylvania turnpike toll hikes

A federal judge is dismissing a lawsuit over Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increases that are financing payments to help fund transit agencies.

OOIDA to appeal dismissal of suit challenging legality of PA Turnpike tolls

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will appeal a ruling issued Thursday in a class-action lawsuit regarding tolls on users of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Campaign urges safety in highway work zones

Three organizations came together Tuesday to push for work zone safety as part of National Work Zone Awareness week.

PennDOT accepting unsolicited public-private partnership proposals until April 30

The PennDOT Office of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) announced today that it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through April 30.

Revised thruway route gets environmental approval

The revised southern Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway route around, rather than over, two ash basins located west of Route 15, has received federal environmental clearance. The new route was found to have no significant environmental impact on the surrounding residences, farmland, and wetlands, according to a recently released Environmental Impact Study (EIS).

PennDOT wants to know what you think of its winter work

Through May 7, people can grade PennDOT on their winter response in an online survey.

Congestion pricing floated as fix for Pa. transit funding crisis

The news that New York will become the first U.S. city to impose a fee on vehicles entering Manhattan has put congestion pricing at the center of a statewide conversation about how to fill Pennsylvania’s looming $450 million-a-year transit funding hole.

Fixing US bridges will take 80 years if current rate of progress continues: report

A new report from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association said it will take 80 years to fix structurally deficient bridges if repairs continue at their current pace.

Fees on Uber trips and hybrid vehicles: Where the state might look to pay for public transportation

Charging a dollar fee per trip to Uber users, hitting hybrid and electric car owners with a new annual fee, and raising the state’s 3.07 percent personal income tax to 3.17 percent are among the ideas that a group of southeastern Pennsylvania leaders have pulled together to address the state’s transportation funding crisis.