Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition pushes for long-term solution

May 20, 2010

A diverse group of transportation system supporters has emerged to push for a comprehensive solution to Pennsylvania’s transportation funding problem.

The Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. on May 26 to call for an adequate, sustainable and predictable funding solution to serve all of the state’s transportation modes.

As in previous incarnations, the coalition includes representatives of the highway construction industry and public transit systems, but it also has attracted support from labor unions, the Hospital and Health Care Association, AARP, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, the Chamber of Business and Industry, and associations for trucking, freight rail, passenger rail, seaports, airports, local governments, travel and tourism, farmers and bike and pedestrian trail supporters.

“The diversity among this coalition is remarkable,” said George Wolff, longtime Harrisburg lobbyist and founder of the coalition. “Every member has a different perspective on how a well-funded transportation system benefits their particular constituency, and the best ways to raise the necessary revenue. But our transportation modes are so inextricably linked that none of us will ultimately benefit from anything less than a comprehensive solution.”

Wolff noted that the coalition has embraced the findings of the recently adopted Transportation Advisory Committee, which identified the current funding gap at $3.5 billion annually. However, he pointed out that the report only addresses highway and transit funding and does not include a capital improvement component for transit.

“It’s certainly in the same ballpark with what we’ve been looking at,” Wolff said. “Suffice it to say that this isn’t simply a matter of replacing the $472 million lost from rejection of the I-80 tolling proposal. Addressing the entire problem will provide significant benefits, in terms of improved safety, less congestion and a significant boost to Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.”

The news conference precedes the beginning of a series of public hearings by the House Transportation Committee on this topic. The hearing schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 27, 2010
10 a.m.
Derry Township Municipal Building

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
2 p.m.
Lock Haven University, Price Performance Center

Thursday, June 3, 2010
2 p.m.
DeSales University, Commonwealth Room

Friday, June 4, 2010
10 a.m.
Saint Joseph’s University, Mandeville Hall

Thursday, June 10, 2010
2 p.m.
Marywood University, Nazareth Hall

Thursday, June 17, 2010
2 p.m.
Clarion University, Hart Chapel Auditorium

Friday, June 18, 2010
10 a.m.
TBD (Monroeville/Pittsburgh region)


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