PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 38

September 19, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: PHIA NEWS DIGEST 

PennDOT gives options for U.S. 322 corridor in State College

PennDOT has identified the three routes it believes should move forward for further study as part of a major highway project in rural Centre County.

PennDOT resumes reviews for bridge replacement projects

PennDOT announced it has resumed planning work and federal environmental reviews for six bridge replacement projects proposed as part of the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership.

Wolf announces $25.4 million for EV infrastructure

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the Biden administration has awarded Pennsylvania $25.4 million to invest in clean transportation through the state’s plan for electric vehicle infrastructure deployment. Pennsylvania is one of the first states in the nation to be approved for this first round of funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Changes proposed for specialty Pa. license plates

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) would generate money for the Motor License Fund by giving residents the option to purchase specialty license plates. The House passed the bill 118-83 largely along party lines with a handful of representatives crossing over both sides.

PennDOT phasing in new driver’s license design

PennDOT is phasing in newly-designed driver’s licenses with enhanced security features.

PennDOT accepting Transportation Improvement Project applications

PennDOT announced that applications will be accepted through Nov. 14 to fund transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 37

September 12, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 37
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Pa. Turnpike explores electrified road services

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is jumping into solar energy production to power its maintenance and office buildings with a long-term goal: using solar-generated power to electrify portions of the toll road so electric vehicles can charge as they travel.

DEP announces bigger rebates for electric vehicles

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced it’s offering bigger consumer rebates for electric vehicles, with a focus on working-class households, and providing $3.4 million in Pennsylvania Volkswagen settlement funds for installation of 54 DC fast chargers in 16 locations in major traffic corridors.

Auditor general releases audit of Turnpike Commission

Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor released a performance audit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which found it continues to face significant challenges to meet its financial obligations putting the burden on travelers.

Pgh. Regional Transit pledges to eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2045

Allegheny County’s public transportation agency, Pittsburgh Regional Transit, announced Wednesday that it will completely replace its diesel fleet with greener buses by 2045. It plans to ramp up its investment in zero-tailpipe emissions buses in the next three years, with the goal of purchasing only the cleaner buses after 2032.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 36

September 6, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 36
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PA may change procurement rules for major projects

For some major transportation projects, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering a rule change to choose contractors based on the best quality bid, rather than the lowest cost. House Bill 2747 would allow a Design Build-Best Value Procurement method for certain projects, rather than the current sealed bid method that prioritizes lowest cost. Supporters framed it as focusing on value instead of price.

Pa. lawmakers considering ’90 days or free’ law for PennDOT

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a law that would require PennDOT to process paperwork in 90 days or else the “job is free.” On Sept. 1 a public hearing will be held for House Bill 2638, which was referred to the House Transportation Committee on June 1.

Revenue Department releases August collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $239.7 million for the month, $25.3 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $480.6 million, which is $24.7 million, or 4.9 percent, below estimate.

Philadelphia plans for a transit revolution

Three planning initiatives are pushing forward the vision put forth in the SEPTA Forward strategic plan — Reimagining Regional Rail, the Bus Revolution, and the Trolley Modernization project.

 

California zero-emission vehicle mandate spurs discussion

September 2, 2022 by · Comments Off on California zero-emission vehicle mandate spurs discussion
Filed under: News 

California’s recent ban on the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 – and the auto industry’s apparent acceptance of it – represents a major momentum boost to the conversion to zero emission cars across the globe.

While there has been chatter for years about this conversion, continuing advances in electric vehicle technology, battery life and recharging capability, the emergence of public policy incentives and the public’s growing concern about climate change are lining up to nudge market transformation.

Last week, a Washington Post article argued that the forces driving this market shift face “a much heavier lift” – convincing skeptical consumers to come along for the ride.

“The (Biden) administration’s push to upend an entrenched culture of fossil-fuel-powered motoring comes as electric cars are struggling to shake their image as a trophy of coastal elites, unreliable and a headache to charge,” the Post wrote.

The Post cited a nationwide survey by Consumer Reports that revealed that while more than a third of consumers would consider purchasing an EV, concerns related to EV ownership must first be addressed, such as creating greater access to charging, extending vehicle range, and lowering purchase prices.

While 2035 is 13 years away, remember the adage that “dates on the calendar are closer than they may appear.” To read the Post article, follow this link.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 35

August 29, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 35
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Pa. license plate frame enough for police to pull you over, court rules

A state appellate court ruling affirmed the right of police officers to stop drivers if any part of their license plate is obscured. That doesn’t just include the unique combination of letters and numbers that make up a person’s license plate — but any lettering — including the visitpa.com URL — or, for that matter, the paint around it.

How to pay for Pa.’s bridges? An open question

The defeat of PennDOT’s plan to toll bridges across the Commonwealth ended one transportation battle, but it did not solve another question: how to pay for transportation infrastructure. The Senate Transportation Committee met on Wednesday to learn more about the issue.

Best states for infrastructure

The condition of infrastructure is key to evaluating the quality of life for any state’s citizens. While the U.S. is among the top nations for education, entrepreneurship and quality of life, it lags behind in infrastructure, earning a C- in the American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 Infrastructure Report Card.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 34

August 22, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 34
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Pa. State Transportation Commission updates 12-Year Program

Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Commission has updated the 12-Year Program. A total of $84 billion is anticipated to be available over the next 12 years and will go toward roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.

Public hearing on Act 84 and improving Pa. major bridges

Senate Transportation Committee
Wednesday, August 24, 1 p.m.
Southwestern PA Commission
112 Washington Place, 4th Floor, South Room
Pittsburgh, PA

PennDOT offers second chance to drivers facing suspension

PennDOT announced that select drivers facing a suspension due to accumulation of points on their driving records or for a conviction of excessive speeding now have a chance at redemption through successfully completing the newly-instituted Driver Improvement School.

Counties with the most super commuters in Pa.

There are more than 283 million vehicles on the road in the United States, and many of those cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles are used to ferry people to and from their homes and jobs during their daily commutes.

New Pa. law authorizes truck weigh system

Pennsylvania recently became the 48th state to adopt a truck weigh system. Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to direct PennDOT to establish an electronic weigh station bypass system for trucks moving across the state.

Pa. to open facility addressing traffic incident management

Three Pennsylvania agencies recently announced plans to open a facility assisting emergency responders, transportation technology companies, and research institutions while supporting the local economy.

Roosevelt Boulevard anti-speeding program a success

According to data released by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, in the first seven months of its implementation, Automated Speed Enforcement helped reduce traffic fatalities occurring on Roosevelt Boulevard by an approximate 50%.

 

Electric vehicle update

August 15, 2022 by · Comments Off on Electric vehicle update
Filed under: Featured, News 

They may not be getting lots of attention, but electric vehicles are gearing up to take a significant bite out of market share in the years ahead.

PennDOT reports that there are now more than 31,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, three times the number that were registered in March 2019.

Last month, PennDOT submitted its plan to the federal government for building a network of charging ports across the state. The plan (which can be found at this link) calls for at least 5,000 EV charging ports at 2,000 sites in Pennsylvania by 2028.

PennDOT counts 2,800 public charging ports at more than 1,200 locations across Pennsylvania at present.

The plan was required in order to receive $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds over the next five years. An additional $2.5 billion in grant funding is available as well.

Also tied to the funding is something called the EV Equity Guiding Principles, which states are obliged to follow. They include making EVs more affordable and charging more accessible; investing in fleet electrification; investing in traditionally underserved, low-income, persons of color and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and increasing EV awareness, education and technical capacity.

Vehicle manufacturers across the globe have expressed strong interest in growing the EV market, and advances in battery and charging technology have piqued consumer interest. Prices will become more competitive as the market grows and as environmental standards tighten.

Pennsylvania also must settle in on a system to assure that all vehicle users make a fair contribution to bridge and road construction and maintenance. Currently, EV users do not contribute to paying for the wear and tear on the transportation system.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 33

August 15, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 33
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Self-driving vehicle testing, training facility slated for East Huntingdon

A $20 million facility for testing and research of self-driving vehicles will be built in Westmoreland County, state officials announced Thursday.

Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to see improvements

The Hill District will receive $11.3 million to help rebuild its roads and sidewalks on Centre Avenue, local politicians announced Tuesday. The city will use the money to reconstruct intersections, install green infrastructure, build a bike path and take other traffic calming measures.

SEPTA changing schedules, adding service to boost ridership

SEPTA is adding some service in their continuing effort to increase ridership. The transit agency is expanding its schedule beginning Aug. 21 to help bring back riders to the line, according to spokesperson Kelly Greene.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 32

August 9, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 32
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Buttigieg: “Important that we get to zero emissions as quickly as we can”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discussed the Biden administration’s industrial policy goals during an interview this week on CNBC.

Transportation Sec. Buttigieg tours terminal upgrades at LVIA

Amid a summer of flight delays and cancellations across the country, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited the area Tuesday to highlight significant funding being used to upgrade Lehigh Valley International Airport.

PennDOT no longer pursuing plans to toll 9 bridges

The Commonwealth Court ruled PennDOT violated state law with those proposed tolls. On Wednesday, PennDOT announced it would not appeal that ruling.

CSVT first month: Truckers, responding well

It’s been about a month of new traffic patterns with the addition of CSVT, and so far, the community and outside travelers and truckers have responded well.

Wilkes-Barre officials meet with PennDOT on passenger rail service study

City officials Wednesday held a follow-up meeting with PennDOT representatives to discuss passenger rail service. PennDOT has agreed to fund a preliminary study on establishing service between Wilkes-Barre and several other possible cities in the state.

Pa. Turnpike to increase toll by 5% for 2023

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Tuesday that it has approved a 5% toll increase for 2023. The increase will be in effect for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers.

Revenue Department releases July 2022 collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $240.9 million for the month, which includes the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues. July collection data does not include a comparison against anticipated amounts because revenue estimates for each month are not yet finalized.

 

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 31

August 1, 2022 by · Comments Off on PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 31
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Pa. law highlights clean transportation

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, PennDOT will receive and distribute $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure formula funds for EV charging infrastructure over the next five years.

PennDOT charges ahead on EV infrastructure development in Pa.

Pennsylvania is set to invest millions of dollars in federal funding to develop its existing electric vehicle infrastructure for increased accessibility.

PennDOT submits $171 million EV charging station plan to feds

Monday is the deadline for states to submit proposals for millions in funds toward electronic vehicle infrastructure and Pennsylvania turned in its homework last week to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Exploring turnpike alternatives

No one can say for sure if, or by how much, another 5% Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increase would impact traffic volume going forward

Transportation tax structure needs jolt

The joy of driving past the gas station — every gas station — belongs for now to only about 30,000 Pennsylvanians who own electric vehicles. But they are just the front edge of the wave. Americans bought more than 208,000 fully electric vehicles in the first quarter of this year. EV sales doubled in 2021 to 4.6% of all vehicles sold.

Fern Hollow Bridge could reopen by the end of the year

Construction on the new Fern Hollow Bridge continued as workers moved the first support beams into place on Monday. Officials from Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation hope the bridge will open by the end of the year.

PennDOT expands online services for people with disabilities

PennDOT is expanding online services for people with disabilities. Customers who have a Person with Disabilities Parking Placard now have the option to renew, request a replacement or update the address on their placard online.

 

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