PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 12

March 19, 2018

Truckers’ lawsuit calls for refund of ‘excessive’ Pa. turnpike toll hikes

Two nationwide truck driving groups want nearly $6 billion in refunds from Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls they say were improperly used by PennDOT for public transit and other uses, says a federal lawsuit filed this week.

Pennsylvania toll lawsuit similar to pending New York case

A trucking industry lawsuit filed Thursday against the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission makes comparable arguments to a New York lawsuit that’s currently at the appellate stage.

How often do drivers crash on Pennsylvania’s roads?

Pennsylvania has over 120,000 miles of roads and highways, about a third of which are maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. This report outlines how often motorists crashed on state roads, how often those crashes resulted in injuries or fatalities, and whether that figure has increased or decreased in recent years.

Firm that designed bridge that collapsed in Fla. engineered some of Pa.’s most spectacular bridges

The Florida-based company’s work includes the Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge spanning the Susquehanna River just south of Harrisburg. Another major project is the turnpike bridge spanning the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 11

March 12, 2018

The goal of seamless urban mobility

We won’t Uber our way out of traffic congestion. What’s needed is a system to integrate all transportation options.

There’s a smart way to pay for infrastructure. Trump can tell Congress how

President Donald Trump ran on rebuilding the nation’s roads, rails and ports, a priority that members of both parties share. Yet no additional miles of highway, no new runways, no more miles of track will be built without a substantial infusion of federal money.

As Trump threatens to kill New York tunnel project, its leader responds

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao shocked lawmakers from New York and New Jersey recently when she harshly criticized the top item on their wish list: new Amtrak tunnels under the Hudson River to replace the deteriorating 107-year-old tunnels currently in use.

Budget hearings dredge up police funding conundrum (again)

Pennsylvania lawmakers are trying to figure out a better way to pay for state police. Most of the department’s annual budget comes from the commonwealth’s Motor License Fund, which is supposed to pay for roads and bridges.

Can ride-hailing companies cure medical transportation woes?

Lyft and Uber are attempting to cure a major medical problem for poor people and the elderly: Getting a ride to the doctor. The ride-hailing services are expanding their offer to take patients around the country to and from non-emergency health care appointments, and they have a huge market to target.

PennDOT road construction projects announced for region

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 146 highway and bridge projects will begin or continue across the seven-county southwest region.




PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 10

March 5, 2018

SEPTA attorney among nominees to Surface Transportation Board

Patrick J. Fuchs, who hails from Wisconsin, and Michelle A. Schultz of Pennsylvania, will each be nominated for a five-year term.

This 18-mile stretch of Georgia highway is a living laboratory for clean energy

In a tribute to their late father’s vision, Ray Anderson’s daughters have turned an 18-mile stretch of rural Georgia highway named after Anderson into a living laboratory for clean energy innovation.

State College company picked to help improve transit systems statewide

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that Avail Technologies Inc. has been selected to implement a Fixed Route Intelligent Transportation System (FRITS) for 32 transit systems.

Trump’s infrastructure plan may result in our biggest-ever gas tax hike

As the director of energy studies at the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, I’ve studied both taxes on energy and how the government leverages what it spends on infrastructure through public-private partnerships. I believe there’s a chance President Donald Trump will usher in the first federal gas tax increase in 25 years to cover the cost of new roads and bridges.

I-99/I-80 interchange in the works

Congressman Glenn Thompson, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards and members of the local business community are united in their efforts to construct a high-speed interchange at I-99/I-80 in Centre County.

Could electric cars threaten the grid?

A new study soothes worries of massive power outages but points to the need for future planning to consider EVs.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 9

February 26, 2018

Gov. Wolf announces $11.5 million in Automated Red Light Enforcement in 35 municipalities

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that PennDOT will distribute nearly $11.5 million in Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funding to 35 municipalities statewide to fund 41 safety projects.

Rail push gains speed: Local leaders hope to expand passenger train service to Pittsburgh

Increasing rail service could help Johnstown along with other western Pennsylvania municipalities with passenger train stops – including Altoona, Greensburg, and Latrobe – become bedroom communities for Pittsburgh.

3 far-flung cities offer clues to unsnarling Manhattan’s streets

The idea translates easily into any language: Charge drivers for using congested streets and watch them change their habits. It has become an increasingly attractive tool for major metropolises overwhelmed by the traffic strangling their streets.

How could Trump’s infrastructure proposal affect southwestern PA

One displeased local Democrat is Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. He expressed frustration on Twitter over the proposed cuts in federal funding. Peduto was also upset over proposed changes to the funding formula. Cities currently receive $4 in federal funds for every $1 they offer, but Trump’s proposal means they would only receive $1 for every $4 they offer.

Wolf tries again to get state police-covered towns to pay up

There are 2,571 municipalities in Pennsylvania and yet 1,700 of them rely on the Pennsylvania State Police to provide full- or part-time police coverage. The 4,300 enlisted troopers on the force work out of 16 barracks across the commonwealth with jurisdiction over 82 percent of the state and about one-fourth (3.3 million) of the population.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 3, No. 8

February 19, 2018

Trump tempts transportation cataclysm

The tunnels are at the center of the most important rail link in the U.S. – the Northeast Corridor, which generates 20 percent of our domestic product, but is now held together with sticky tape and glue.

Project to connect I-95, PA Turnpike nears major milestone

Since I-95′s completion in 1969, plans called for creating a seamless link between the interstate and the turnpike. In 2018, project engineers say, they will finally make good on the decades-old promise to make the connection and have I-95 stretch continuously from Maine to Florida.

PennDOT to tackle rural roads, locally owned bridges under Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal

Part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal would steer more money toward fixing rural, low-traffic roads and locally owned bridges, officials said.

PhilaPort infrastructure investments expecting another record year

After investing $1 billion and changing its name from the Port of Philadelphia to PhilaPort in 2017, the port had a record year for containerized cargo activity — a success the port is prepared to repeat.

PennDOT wants feedback for bicycle, pedestrian master plan

PennDOT wants public feedback to update its bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

Source: Trump endorsed 25-cent gas tax hike in White House confab

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