PHIA News Digest – Vol. 92

September 19, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Fitch Rates $193MM PA Turnpike Comm Motor License Fund-Enhanced Bonds ‘AA-‘; Outlook Stable

The MLF-enhanced subordinate special revenue bonds are backed by a junior pledge on the trust estate, which consists primarily of residual toll revenues. Ultimate security for the bonds and the rating, rest with the ability to access certain monies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s (the Commonwealth) MLF to fund debt service if necessary.

Anybody Can Test a Driverless Car in Pennsylvania

Uber’s self-driving cars are today available to passengers in Pittsburgh, a move that signals the ride-sharing giant’s seriousness about its future with autonomous vehicles. It is a pivotal moment for the company—yet Uber had to clear surprisingly few regulatory hurdles to get to this point.

That’s because all you need to operate a self-driving vehicle on public roads in Pennsylvania is the right technology: no special permit or license, no unique registration, no safety clearance, nothing. Uber’s driverless taxis will have humans sitting behind the wheel—ready to take control of the vehicle if necessary—and that’s all that matters under Pennsylvania law.

It’s time for towns with free State Police protection to pay up: Editorial

And, all told, more than half of the state’s 2,600 municipalities receive “free” state police coverage. About 100 of those communities have populations of 5,000 or greater, large enough to require their own police forces.

If hardworking, taxpaying residents in Hempfield, South Middleton and scores of other Pennsylvania communities aren’t paying for state police service, it means someone else – in this case, much of the rest of the Commonwealth – is paying for that service.

PA Lawmakers Address Drugged Driving Issue, Fearing It Might Get Worse

The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee traveled to Montgomery County Thursday to hear from law enforcement and judicial officials about the growing problem of driving while under the influence of drugs.

Like most other states, Pennsylvania is facing an opioid abuse crisis that has spilled onto the highways. David Drumheller of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association told the Joint Judiciary and Transportation Committee the numbers across Pennsylvania are alarming.

Agency says driverless cars will need OK once Uber charges

The state agency that regulates taxicabs and transportation businesses in Pennsylvania says it doesn’t have jurisdiction over free trips in self-driving cars being offered by Uber, but it will once the company starts charging money.

The Public Utility Commission said Thursday that it wants a review of the regulatory, legal and technical issues raised by autonomous vehicles.


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