PHIA News Digest – Vol. 90

September 6, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Traffic fatalities rise nationally; Pennsylvania bucks trend

Traffic fatalities are up nationally compared to this point a year ago, according to a recent Associated Press report. However, in Pennsylvania the number of traffic-related deaths were the lowest on record in 2014, and preliminary data suggests this year’s numbers will fall close within that range.

The national indicators estimate about 19,100 people have been killed on the nation’s roads through the first six months of 2016. Another 2.2 million people were seriously injured in that span, the AP report noted.

Philadelphia begins returning sidelined rail cars to service

The Philadelphia area’s main transit agency has begun returning some of its sidelined rail cars to service following repairs. It’s projecting the fleet will return to full service by mid-November.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority pulled more than 100 coaches from service in its regional system just before the Fourth of July weekend after defects were found in the suspension systems of its Silverliner V fleet.

Four ways technology will change how we commute in the future

Mark Dowd, a deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Transportation, said that the competition gave city planners an opportunity to work with technology developers and figure out a blend of technologies that suit their specific needs.

For Lyft and Uber, more women behind the wheel

Before October 2014, the odds of finding a female driver in Philadelphia were slim. Of the city’s 3,370 taxi drivers, 24 are women, says the Philadelphia Parking Authority. That changed almost two years ago when Uber came to town, soon followed by Lyft.

Ride-hailing apps connect drivers to riders, and take a cut of the fare. In the process, they have opened to women a field long dominated by men.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 89

August 29, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania Wolf Administration Announces Investments to Improve 23 Airports

Twenty-three airports will make safety upgrades and expand operation opportunities with the assistance of $8.8 million in state investments, Governor Tom Wolf announced today.

“Maintaining and expanding opportunities in our transportation system includes the more than 400 airports in our state,” Governor Wolf said. “Hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported by aviation in Pennsylvania, and these investments will help them operate safely, expand to meet demands, or attract more growth.”

Study: Mon-Fayette Expressway, MLK busway projects would create more than 20,000 jobs

Rocky Moretti, the director of policy and research for TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation group in Washington, D.C., talks on Tuesday about the benefits of the Mon Fayette Expressway extension from Jefferson Hills to Monroeville and the East Busway extension from Swissvale to Turtle Creek during a news conference.

Long-Awaited U.S. Infrastructure Spending Comes to Fruition

America’s states and cities are finally seizing on record-low interest rates to finance needed work on roads, bridges and schools.

After borrowing costs tumbled worldwide as central banks sought to jump-start their economies, agencies from New York to California have sold about $272 billion of bonds this year and are funneling more into construction projects, instead of just paying off higher-cost debt. That’s put the municipal market on track to approach the record level of sales reached in 2010, when the federal government was seeking to hasten the nation’s recovery by footing some of the bills on debt issued for public works.

LVPC reviews letter to US Dept. of Transportation over proposed metro planning rule

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) Thursday reviewed nearly a dozen letters it plans on forwarding to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation as part of a 60-day public comment period ending Aug. 26 regarding the fed’s proposal of implementing a new east coast nine states mega-region metropolitan planning organization which will serve in part to determine the current and future allocation of federal transportation dollars to the Lehigh Valley.

Freedom Transit sees 3 percent increase in ridership during past year

On Wednesday, the concrete was drying around a newly installed bicycle rack at 50 E. Chestnut St., Washington.

Bikes may not have been an element of “intermodal transportation” officials envisioned when a proposal for the center formed more than seven years ago, but Sheila Gombita, executive director of the Washington County Transportation Authority, said, “People have asked where to chain a bike.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 88

August 22, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Local projects included in PennDOT’s plan

The first four years of the plan — 2017 to 2020 — are designated as the Transportation Improvement Program or TIP, Tarquino said. Projects ranked first in the report are funded under TIP. TIP is updated every two years and work ranked second and third move up on the list.

Who removes deer carcasses from the side of the road, and where do they end up?: AskPA

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be required to remove dead deer along state roads during general maintenance or as soon as they’re notified of one because of an amendment, introduced by Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, to House Bill 898, according to his spokesperson Casey Long. It’ll go into effect next month but, until then, the department isn’t required to remove the carcasses within a certain time frame.

Fitch: US Transit Woes Will Continue Until Funding Is Clear

Maintenance problems that halted two of the US’s largest transit systems will likely spread to other systems unless funding needs are addressed and adequately managed, Fitch Ratings says, noting that long-term planning will help manage maintenance and capital requirements.

Possible transportation funding changes could hurt Lehigh Valley

However, the U.S. Department of Transportation wants to change the way transportation funds are allocated along the east coast.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 87

August 8, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania Selected to Host State Transportation Innovation Council Roundtable Discussion

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards today joined US Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Gregory Nadeau and FHWA Division Administrator Renee Sigel to showcase the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC). Pennsylvania was chosen to host because of the success of the Pennsylvania STIC.

“We are proud to be playing a leading role nationally in championing better ways to deliver transportation services,” Richards said. “We welcome today’s opportunity to meet with our federal counterparts to review our progress.”

Bus drivers from across PA put driving skills to the test

Bus drivers from across Pennsylvania were in our area this weekend perfecting their driving skills.

The Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association held its annual bus ROADEO competition at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

They call it a ROADEO but it’s really just an obstacle course.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 86

August 3, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Lancaster County transportation forum: Act 89 is great, but the need is greater

A landmark 2013 law that is enabling widespread road and bridge repairs across Pennsylvania is great, but the need is greater, panelists at a transportation forum said Monday.

“Every place there’s 10 trucks today, there’s going to be 17 in 2040,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jim Ritzman.

PA senate bills would expand use of automated ticketing, radar

Is high-tech enforcement on the roads a boost for safety or just a way for Pennsylvania to raise revenues?

The question was once again raised Wednesday when Gov. Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 1267, which extends the state’s red light camera program to 2027.

Pennsylvania Turnpike’s $5.7 billion capital plan under review

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission last week voted to raise tolls for the ninth consecutive year and members agreed to revisit all construction projects to make sure they are necessary and affordable despite approving the capital plan on May 17.

PennDOT looking at cleaning up its act to become more productive

It wasn’t long after state Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards’ arrival to the department’s headquarters in the Keystone Building last year when the long-standing concerns about the functionality of its offices’ layout came to her attention.


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