PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 18

May 3, 2021

Mask mandate for air travel, public transportation extended through Sept. 13

Travelers will be required to wear face masks inside airports and on planes, buses and trains through Sept. 13.

Harrisburg to New York City in 24 minutes? Hyperloop advocates say it’s possible

It’s faster than the fastest train. The technology is more similar to the vacuum tube that takes a check from alongside a car to a teller at a bank drive-through window. But will hyperloop, as it’s known, ever really transport people?

State panel explores alternatives to bridge tolls and gas taxes

The commission, set to issue a report in August, is studying other ways to even a gap of $9 billion between what Pennsylvania takes in and what it needs to fix roads and bridges.

PennDOT shares draft transportation funding study

PennDOT is hosting an on-demand virtual public meeting and comment period for a Planning and Environmental Linkages study exploring sustainable transportation funding options. The public meeting is accessible online at all hours of the day through June 1, 2021, at www.penndot.gov/funding.

Pennsylvania releases automated vehicles survey

PennDOT recently launched a survey on behalf of Pennsylvania’s Highly Automated Vehicle Advisory Committee. Results will be used to gain an understanding of residents’ thoughts on automated vehicles.

REAL ID enforcement deadline pushed back to 2023

The Department of Homeland Security says the REAL ID full enforcement date is moving from Oct. 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023. DHS says the pandemic has significantly impacted states’ abilities to issue Real IDs.

Pa. bill would mandate hands-free cellphone use

As a parent and legislator, I have strived to continue shedding light on the importance of roadway safety, especially distracted driving, not only to my children but to all Pennsylvanians.

Pa. Senate OKs bill to halt plans to toll bridges

Republicans in Pennsylvania’s Senate are trying to make Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration start over on its plans to toll up to nine major bridges, approving a bill Tuesday to require the state Department of Transportation to undergo a new process that includes approval from the legislature.

Pa.’s infrastructure in need of an upgrade?

The need to improve, upgrade and modernize the nation’s infrastructure is an issue that most Americans and elected officials from both parties can agree on.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 17

April 26, 2021

State senator pushes PennDOT on plans for tolling bridges

A Pennsylvania state senator pushed PennDOT for answers on plans to toll nine bridges across the state during the Senate budget hearing.

Pa. Turnpike meeting expectations with toll-by-plate method

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says it’s on track with its expectations after initiating toll-by-plate 10 months ago. But E-ZPass is still the preferred method, and only about 15% of its customers use toll-by-plate.

Don’t Zoom and drive

Video conferencing has grown over the past year as more and more people started working from home. As things started opening up, you may have found yourself driving while on a Zoom call.

Citing increased litter, PennDOT and state police warn of penalties

Citing increased reports of rubbish on the sides of area roads, officials from the state police and state Department of Transportation met Friday at PennDOT’s district office in Dunmore to issue a warning to those who would toss their garbage out of the window: it could cost you time and money.

PennDOT speed enforcement leading to more tickets on I-79

PennDOT officials said they’ve issued more than 20,000 citations on one stretch of I-79 near the southern beltway project thanks to new technology that can catch more than one driver going too fast.

Traffic fatalities in 2020 second-lowest on record

While the number of traffic deaths increased in 2020 to 1,129 from a record low of 1,059 in 2019, last year was the second-lowest number of highway fatalities recorded, according to PennDOT.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 16

April 20, 2021

Gov. Wolf announces 43 multimodal projects

Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that 43 highway, bridge, rail, and bike and pedestrian projects in 21 counties were selected for $45.9 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

Houlahan: Infrastructure plan will bring good jobs to Chester County

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) on Friday called for robust infrastructure funding for her community and the Commonwealth of PA to be included in this year’s surface transportation spending package.

Southern Beltway close to opening

The first major highway to be added to the Pittsburgh driving landscape since the Parkway North opened in 1989 is just around the curve. Conceived in the 1980s and in the works since 1991, the Southern Beltway is just a few months from opening.

Pa. gets C-minus for infrastructure as Biden makes pitch

Pennsylvania’s 7,540 miles of highway roads are in poor condition. Florida has seen $100 billion in damages over the last decade from extreme weather events. There are 1 in 4 Idahoans with no access to broadband internet, and 1 in 2 living in areas with too-few licensed child care centers.

Pa. trucking torn between tax hike and smooth roads

A bipartisan congressional delegation was scheduled to travel up impeccably paved Pennsylvania Avenue from Capitol Hill to the White House Monday for the first official discussions on the Biden administration’s already controversial infrastructure plan.

Committee advances safe driving bill

The House Transportation Committee recently advanced legislation that would advocate for roadway safety and responsible driving practices.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 15

April 12, 2021

America’s infrastructure needs: Too big to solve?

The lesson is clear: Funding for roads and bridges historically has not been about roads and bridges. President Biden appears to be following this tradition. His $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan targets only about 6 percent to fixing our highway and bridge infrastructure, while “dedicated” funds in the Highway Trust Fund, funded by the federal gas tax, will not change.

PennDOT accepting unsolicited P-3 proposals

The PennDOT Office of Public-Private Partnerships announced that it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through April 30.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 6, No. 14

April 5, 2021

Real ID enforcement to begin Oct. 1 for air travel

If you are planning to fly on a commercial domestic flight or enter a federal building that requires acceptable identification after Oct. 1, you’ll need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or photo ID card.

Hennessey probes PennDOT on services, regs suspended in pandemic

Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester/Montgomery), majority chairman of the House Transportation Committee, recently sent a letter to PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian, asking for an update on regulatory and enforcement matters at PennDOT that have been suspended, waived or modified during the COVID-19 emergency.

Pennsylvania commits $452.7M for road, bridge maintenance

PennDOT recently committed $452.7 million to municipalities to help maintain bridges and roads. Funding will be distributed under a formula based on a municipality’s population and miles of locally-owned roads. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced gas tax revenues, and this year’s allocation is approximately 7 percent less than the 2020 allocation.

Pennsylvania bill would reform Delaware River toll commission

A Pennsylvania bill on the move is intended to clear up inconsistencies in laws governing operation of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

Transportation experts eye cash influx with presidential plan

A recent PennDOT study shows a $15 billion need in infrastructure improvements. One major problem is the state has just short of $7 billion in its coffers.

State lawmakers call on Biden to fund Mon Valley transportation

Ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, where he’s expected to detail his infrastructure and jobs plan, a group of Democratic lawmakers representing western Pennsylvania are urging him to remember the Mon Valley.

PennDOT to invest $240 million In region, much less than planned

District executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said despite a great list of projects, funding shortages have put them way behind on maintenance, and they’re applying Band-Aids where they can.