PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 42

October 27, 2020

‘Steer Clear’ law revisions in Pennsylvania continue to advance

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to revamp the Steer Clear law. The bill, SB1281, awaits further consideration in the House.

Legislation establishes rules for autonomous delivery robots

Legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Ryan P. Aument (R-Lancaster County), would establish rules for the operation of Personal Delivery Devices (PDDs), autonomous robots that deliver packages to consumers and businesses within an approximately three-mile radius.

Saucon Rail Trail extension into Bucks close to completion

The Upper Bucks Rail Trail will extend from where the Saucon Rail Trail ends–along the Lehigh-Bucks county line near Coopersburg–south through Springfield Township to Veterans Park in Richland Township, which is just off E. Pumping Station Road.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 41

October 19, 2020

Philly-area urban planner says COVID-19 hasn’t ended driving

A recent study, by accounting and consulting firm KPMG, suggests a nationwide decline in the number of people on the roads may never recover from the pandemic, but a Philadelphia-area expert says the effect has been highly exaggerated.

Legislation would transfer Amtrak line to Pennsylvania

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would require Amtrak to transfer ownership of the Keystone East Line to Pennsylvania.

Amtrak wants billions in additional funding for the Northeast Corridor

Amtrak wants more than $1.7 billion in federal tax dollars for the Northeast Corridor, William J. Flynn, Amtrak’s president & CEO, said in a letter to congressional leaders. The money is part of more than $4.8 billion the railroad wants in the 2021 fiscal year to help it recover from COVID-19. Amtrak says it might need to eliminate 2,400 jobs and curtail service if it doesn’t get the money.

SEPTA adjusts expectations on regional rail ridership

The continuing effects of COVID-19 on the Philadelphia region has forced SEPTA to adjust expectations for the return of regional rail riders and for restoring more train service.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 40

October 14, 2020

Harvard study: Modernizing transportation yields $11.1B in health benefits

A new study from Harvard University had found that plans to transform the transportation sector and reduce air pollution could result in major health benefits for those living in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

PennDOT’s outreach efforts for ‘Big I’ roundabout in Crawford County recognized

The PennDOT’s Northwest Region is the recipient of a communication honor for its public outreach efforts done in connection with the “Big I” Roundabout construction in Crawford County.

Downtown’s I-579 Cap project is on schedule

A project to reconnect Pittsburgh’s Hill District to downtown is well underway about a year before its projected completion. The I-579 Cap Urban Connector Project will bridge the neighborhoods with a three-acre park atop the existing highways.

Expiration dates on commercial licenses and permits extended again

PennDOT is once again extending expiration dates on specific commercial driver’s licenses and permits in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

Featured, News

Pa. posts first-quarter revenue results

October 12, 2020

In our quest to present positive news, sometimes we have to settle for news that’s not as bad as it could have been.

And so it is with Pennsylvania’s revenue report for the first quarter of the 2020-21 fiscal year. September collections totaled $3.3 billion in General Fund revenue, 8.3% greater than projections.

Collections for the fiscal year to date were $9.9 billion, 4.9% more than projections.
Moreover, the Motor License Fund, which receives its revenue primarily from fuel taxes and license and registration fees, has collected $770 million year to date, essentially equal to projections, another positive sign.

However, PennDOT estimates that the Commonwealth’s transportation funding gap is $9 billion annually. The transportation construction industry has launched an advocacy campaign aimed at policymakers in hopes that transportation funding needs will be recognized and addressed.

An explanation of how we arrived at this point, and steps that would help reduce the gap, can be found at this link.