TOP STORIES

Electric vehicle update

They may not be getting lots of attention, but electric vehicles are gearing up to take a significant bite out of market share in the years ahead. PennDOT reports that there are now more than 31,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania,… [read more]

Electric vehicle update Electric vehicle update

APC calls for further reduction in bridge and highway fund diversions

Associated Pennsylvania Constructors is reviving an initiative to further reduce the diversions from the Motor License Fund, the constitutionally protected repository for fuel taxes and license and registration fees that fund… [read more]

APC calls for further reduction in bridge and highway fund diversions APC calls for further reduction in bridge and highway fund diversions

Court halts major bridge initiative; PennDOT appeals

A Commonwealth Court judge issued an injunction last week that temporarily blocks PennDOT from proceeding with plans to restore or replace nine major bridges and pay for the initiative by tolling the bridges. Judge Ellen Ceisler… [read more]

Court halts major bridge initiative; PennDOT appeals Court halts major bridge initiative; PennDOT appeals

Plans for electric vehicle charging in PA

Even before the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed, Pennsylvania was already identifying electric vehicle charging corridors. The law provides for $7.5 billion to expand the EV charging network across the country. Pennsylvania’s… [read more]

Plans for electric vehicle charging in PA Plans for electric vehicle charging in PA

The industry’s transportation funding needs explained

Governor Wolf’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, unveiled last week, contained a bit of good news regarding transportation funding. Rather than gradually reducing the annual amounts of revenue diverted from… [read more]

The industry’s transportation funding needs explained The industry’s transportation funding needs explained

NEWS & UPDATES

News

Election results are finally clear

November 21, 2022 -- Leave a Comment

It took nearly two weeks from the General Election to sort out the victors from the vanquished, but we finally appear to have a clearer picture of Pennsylvania’s political landscape moving forward.

As we now know, the U.S. Senate will be controlled by Democrats, and the PA Senate will be controlled by Republicans.

The GOP assumed control of the U.S. House, but with a very thin majority. Democrats will eventually assume control of the PA House, but with an even tinier one-seat majority. What isn’t clear is when the House Dems will be at full strength, and what will happen in the meantime.

One of the 102 Democratic seats is vacant due to the death of state Rep. Tony DeLuca, who passed away a month ago. It was too late to replace him on the ballot, and he won the election. Moreover, two other PA House Democrats, Summer Lee and Austin Davis, were elected to Congress and PA lieutenant governor, respectively, and will vacate their PA House seats upon being sworn in to their new posts in January.

At this moment, the House is deadlocked at 101-101, and the departure of Lee and Davis will make it a 101-99 GOP majority until the three House seats are filled in special elections (all three districts are thought to be solidly Democratic).

The situation could result in a cascade of delays, including selection of speaker of the House, appointment of committee chairs and the composition of legislative committees.

On a transportation note: While committee chair selections and committee assignments will eventually occur, we will bid adieu to both of our current House Transportation chairs. Longtime legislator and GOP Chair Tim Hennessey lost his reelection bid after his district was redrawn, and Democratic Chair Mike Carroll announced months ago that he would not seek reelection. We wish them well in their future endeavors.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 47

November 21, 2022 -- Leave a Comment

Pa. started 1,078 transportation projects in year-one of infrastructure law

Pennsylvania leveraged $2.4 billion in federal highway and bridge formula funds in FY 2022 to help jumpstart 1,078 new improvement projects in communities across the state during the first year of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a review of U.S. Treasury Department data through September 30 shows.

Md. officials announce U.S. 219 funding in Garrett County

As part of a four-day scheduled visit to the western part of the state, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan stopped in Grantsville on Oct. 17 to announce $77 million in funding that will complete the remaining 8-mi. segment of U.S. 219 between I-68 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which includes 1 mi. in Maryland.

Infrastructure law has been ‘game changer’ for Gov. Wolf

A year after President Biden signed a bill sending $1 trillion to states and municipalities to fix the nation’s ailing infrastructure, Gov. Tom Wolf says the law will be a “game changer for Pennsylvania,” as money continues to flow toward projects in Pennsylvania.

Pa. infrastructure sees slight improvement since 2018

So how is it holding up in Pennsylvania? Well in the last four years since the American Society of Civil Engineers released its infrastructure report, the grade has stayed the same: C-minus.

What has the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law done for Pa?

According to a Nov. release from the White House, $7.9 billion in infrastructure funding has been announced for Pennsylvania and already has been allocated for over 150 specified projects across the commonwealth.

Will act of ‘spite’ by Pa. House GOP cost the state hundreds of millions in federal funding?

Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted 4-1 on Thursday to approve tighter emission standards for the conventional oil and gas industry, but a House committee vote will delay the state’s implementation of the regulation and cause the state to miss a deadline set by the federal government.

Cameras in this Pa. transit system will soon be able to tell if you have a gun

SEPTA will start using an artificial intelligence system that detects firearms. A pilot program from ZeroEyes has been approved. The U.S. Department of Defense uses the company’s program, according to Philly Voice.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 46

November 14, 2022 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 46

Pennsylvania orders a review of EV charging rates

Anticipating a future wave of EV ownership, the Pennsylvania PUC launched a streamlining process to potentially rewrite electric rates in the state to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles rule signed into Pa. law

A new Pennsylvania law is touted as modernizing the state’s vehicle code to accommodate autonomous vehicles. Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to permit the driverless testing and deployment of autonomous cars and trucks on Pennsylvania roadways.

Amid major federal investment in electric cars, it’s time for states to step up, advocates say

For years, electric vehicles posed something of a chicken-and-egg problem. Mass adoption, seen as critical to cutting the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions, couldn’t happen until the infrastructure to allow drivers to recharge wherever they were heading was in place. And those charging stations weren’t coming until more drivers switched to plug-in electric vehicles.

Toll scofflaw legislation is easy, but hard work is needed on other PennDOT, turnpike problems

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a new law last week giving the state a stick to smack or prod drivers owing delinquent toll money.

State law aligns gross weight for EV commercial vehicles

Act 145 of 2022, which Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed into law, increases the maximum allowable gross weight for electric-powered commercial vehicles from 80,000 pounds to 82,000 pounds.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 45

November 7, 2022 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 45

Governor signs E-ZPass transparency legislation

The new law is called a “win” for Turnpike customers and government transparency. It requires the Turnpike to notify E-ZPass customers when they get a $10 penalty fee called a v-toll, charged when their transponder fails to register going through a toll plaza.

Wolf signs bill allowing commercial electric vehicles on state roads

Heavy-duty commercial vehicles powered by electric motors will now be able to travel Pennsylvania’s roads alongside their diesel- and natural gas-powered counterparts.

Wolf signs law to suspend vehicle registrations over unpaid Turnpike tolls

A measure to help the Pennsylvania Turnpike recover more unpaid tolls was signed into law Thursday, legislation that could trigger the suspension of thousands of vehicle registrations early next year.

Revenue Department releases October collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $217.6 million for the month, $0.7 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $951.1 million, which is $8.9 million, or 0.9 percent, above estimate.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 44

October 31, 2022 -- Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 44

Pa. passes legislation to strengthen Turnpike toll collection efforts

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is welcoming the passage of House Bill 1486 on Thursday that will strengthen ongoing efforts to hold motorists who don’t pay their tolls accountable.

Pittsburgh autonomous vehicle companies react to Argo shutdown

While Pittsburgh’s business community continues to process the demise of self-driving technology company Argo AI, leaders at other driverless tech firms in the city insist that different market niches, coupled with newly-approved legislation, will help them to weather a turbulent market.

3% toll hike coming to NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway

Get ready to pay more to drive on some roads in New Jersey. Tolls are going to increase by 3% on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.