PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 35

August 31, 2020

Commonwealth seeking volunteers for ‘Pick Up Pennsylvania’ litter campaign

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT are seeking volunteers for “Pick Up Pennsylvania,” a campaign of small-group or solo litter cleanup events, Sept. 1 – Nov. 30.

PennDOT’s improvement project wish list

KDKA’s John Shumway speaks with a PennDOT executive about projects that may be in the works around the Pittsburgh area.

Traffic on toll facilities up from April but still down from last year

Five months ago, a national emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, keeping people home and dramatically decreasing traffic. A recent report shows that since then, traffic is up but still down compared to a year ago.

PennDOT asking high schoolers to help figure out how to raise revenue

PennDOT is turning to the youth in the state to help come with ideas to raise revenue. With vehicles becoming more fuel efficient and electric vehicles becoming more affordable, gasoline-based revenues can no longer generate the funds needed.

California foundation pushing for Pennsylvania to lease toll roads to private operators

With transportation agencies struggling financially due to the sharply reduced traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reason Foundation is bringing back an old idea: leasing operation and maintenance of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 34

August 24, 2020

The road to a COVID-19 recovery has to include transit funding

Despite essential employees depending on these agencies for transportation, the pandemic has cost transit agencies millions of dollars in lower ridership. Because there are also less drivers on the roads, tolls paid by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission that are supposed to help pay for Pennsylvania’s public transit systems are under threat as well.

PennDOT earns regional awards for operations excellence

PennDOT recently received regional America’s Transportation Awards for operational excellence and best use of technology. The department’s operational excellence award was for the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Program and the best use of technology award was for the Shaler Street Bridge Replacement.

How your commute will get worse if the state yanks SEPTA funding

SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards told the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee Wednesday that a handful of transit services would vanish in the next decade if the authority can’t secure its usual funding from Harrisburg — now in jeopardy amid the pandemic-induced state budget crisis.

PennDOT gets green light for more roadwork in Philly region

PennDOT’s regional office has received the green light to embark on several major highway reconstruction projects in the Philadelphia area in the coming years.



APC, Keystone Coalition testify in House committee hearings

August 20, 2020

This week, representatives of Associated Pennsylvania Constructors and the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition testified before the House Transportation Committee to weigh in on a package of bills developed by a House task force that was formed last year to investigate how to better fund transportation infrastructure.

The hearings were originally scheduled for April, but were postponed at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic significantly worsened the Commonwealth’s infrastructure funding capabilities, and most of the witnesses who were lined up in April had to retool their testimony.

APC’s Bob Latham recounted the events that have occurred since the passage of Act 89 of 2013. In addition to not fully addressing the funding gap, the diversions from the Motor License Fund to support General Fund functions increased.

The pandemic caused a major drop in fuel tax revenue, which PennDOT estimates will cause a shortfall in expected revenue totaling $800 million through next year. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 33

August 17, 2020

PennDOT needs volunteers to test mileage-based tax

PennDOT is looking for drivers to help test a mileage-based taxing program to replace motor fuels taxes, a declining source of revenue due to efficient vehicles, hybrids and COVID-19.

State Transportation Commission adopts updated 12-Year Transportation Program

The State Transportation Commission has updated the 12-Year Program. The new plan anticipates $64.8 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.

‘We’re back in business,’ Northumberland mayor says after completion of road project

The three-year, $14 million Duke Street project was completed Monday.

Penske opens electric vehicle charging stations

Penske Truck Leasing, a Reading-based transportation services provider, recently opened its sixth heavy-duty electric vehicle charging station in Southern California.

Concrete deck on highway bridge across Susquehanna River is completed

The concrete deck for the nearly mile-long Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway bridge across the West Branch Susquehanna River is finished.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 32

August 10, 2020

Pennsylvania bill would reinstate turnpike toll collectors

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 13-1 to reverse a decision made by the commission to permanently let go of 492 employees, most of which were fare collectors.

SEPTA introduces social distancing coaches

SEPTA is introducing social distancing coaches to help promote mask-wearing compliance and social distancing.