PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 38

September 24, 2019

PA joining suit for tough auto emission standards

Pennsylvania has joined more than 20 other states in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s revocation of California’s right to set tougher auto-emission standards. California has been setting higher vehicle emissions standards since the 1970s.

PennDOT: Northern portion of thruway project 80 percent complete

The northern section of the $865 million Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project is about 80 percent complete, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation assistant plans engineer Matt Beck.

U.S. DOT grants Pa. $8.4 million for testing of automated driving systems  

The U.S. Department of Transportation granted Pennsylvania $8.4 million for automated driving systems research.

PennDOT asks feedback on construction, road maintenance  

PennDOT is accepting construction and maintenance services feedback through an online survey. The public can take the survey through October 22 at



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 37

September 18, 2019

PennDOT: Pa. roundabouts reducing fatalities, injuries

Fatalities, injuries and crashes decreased overall at 19 roundabouts at 16 locations after they were built, according to new data released by PennDOT.

PennDOT accepting applications for Multimodal grants

Eligible applicants include municipalities, council of governments, business/non-profit organizations, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, public airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. Projects that will be considered should coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 36

September 9, 2019

Pa. Turnpike installing fiber optic system, to lease extra capacity

The turnpike is moving on its own to install a fiber-optic communication system in the eastern part of the state to meet its internal needs. But the turnpike hasn’t given up on the idea of generating revenue from the system and is designing it with extra space that it will solicit private operators to lease.

The Road Warrior’s first pretend vehicle miles traveled bill arrived. It had a small surprise.

As faithful readers may recall, I volunteered to participate in a study examining a mileage-based user fee. Several states have talked about moving away from a gas tax to this model, which bills drivers for how many miles they travel instead of how much gas they consume.

Rejoice! PennDOT officially raises Route 222 speed limit

The bypass opened in April 2004, and drivers have been grumbling about the speed limit pretty much since then. With its wide lanes, clear sight lines and a shoulder, drivers argued that the 45 mph speed limit was too low.

Paying Pa. Turnpike tolls? There will be an app for that soon

Drivers could soon pay Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls using a smartphone app. The launch of the app is expected later this year

Concrete poured for Central Susquehanna River Thruway bridge’s first deck

The first deck concrete was poured Wednesday, said Ted Deptula, an assistant construction engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.



Electric vehicle bill may be on tap

September 5, 2019


Members of the General Assembly will return from summer recess in the coming weeks. PHIA is hopeful that the House will quickly take up an electric vehicle bill, House Bill 1392, sponsored by Democratic House Transportation Chair Mike Carroll.

Rep. Mike Carroll

The measure would impose annual fees on all-electric vehicles. It was approved by the House Transportation Committee near the end of the spring legislative session and awaits a vote from the full House before advancing to the Senate.

The bill would eliminate the alternative fuel tax on electricity and replace it with a $150 fee for noncommercial electric vehicles and $250 for commercial vehicles. It was conceived as a way to make sure that electric vehicles contribute to the upkeep of the roads and bridges on which they drive. Conventional vehicles contribute by paying a liquid fuels tax.

“The measure would have very minimal impact initially, because electric vehicles – especially EVs that are totally electric – do not yet have significant market share,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “But as emission standards become tighter, and technology continues to advance, they will gain in popularity.”

Volkswagen recently announced a major EV initiative and has several new models in development, to be rolled out as early as next year.

“We need to be ready and make sure public policy is in synch with technology and market changes,” Wagner said. “It’s important that everyone contributes their fair share to building and maintaining our bridges and highways.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 4, No. 35

September 3, 2019

Law enforcement should have privacy standards for automated license plate reader systems

One of our most cherished and important liberties as American citizens is our right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizure by the government, which is outlined in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

PennDOT enhances 511PA for Labor Day, Penn State football travel planning

PennDOT is encouraging motorists to visit the “Historic Holiday Traffic” page at to plan optimal travel times on major roadways across the state this Labor Day weekend. New this year, 511PA will also include travel information for every Penn State home football game, beginning with this Saturday’s game against the Idaho Vandals.