PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 13

March 30, 2020

PennDOT reopens five additional rest areas 

PennDOT is reopening indoor facilities at five additional rest areas statewide. 

PennDOT extends expiration on driver licenses, ID cards, vehicle registrations   

PennDOT announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, learner’s permits, persons with disability placards, vehicle registrations and safety and emission inspections will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. 

Wolf administration lays off about 2,500 state employees as virus fallout deepens   

The Wolf administration has laid off about 2,500 part-time and seasonal employees and interns as the financial fallout from the coronavirus deepens, straining Pennsylvania’s cash flow, Spotlight PA has learned. 

Pennsylvania Real ID deadline delayed until 2021   

The Department of Homeland Security has postponed Pennsylvania’s enforcement date for Real ID from October 2020 to October 2021, PennDOT announced. 

What pandemic stimulus package means to Pa., NJ   

$25 billion will go into transportation, a concern for people in Pennsylvania, Casey said, as they are concerned about transit dollars and the money “would help them survive.” 

No cash amid coronavirus outbreak: bridges connecting Pa., N.J. go all electronic   

The no-cash movement in response to the coronavirus pandemic now includes your trip over the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Starting Thursday morning, the Delaware River Port Authority is instituting all-electronic tolling on the Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, Commodore Barry and Walt Whitman bridges, connecting South Jersey with Philadelphia and Delaware County. 



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 12

March 23, 2020

With construction season on hold, PennDOT working its way through unique challenges   

Under an order from Gov. Tom Wolf designed to slow the spread of the virus, the department has shut down all construction across the state and ordered as many workers as possible to work from home. 

After public criticism, Pa. turnpike to reopen restrooms at service plazas Friday   

In a news release, the agency said restrooms inside all service plazas will be open 24 hours. The outdoor portable toilets installed earlier this week will remain in place at the service plazas for approximately one week, the commission said. 

Truck drivers impacted by service plaza limits on PA Turnpike   

PennDOT is opening up 13 of its rest areas along the state’s highways, after truckers and legislators voiced their concerns. 10 portable toilets and two hand washing stations: that’s what all drivers dealt with at the PA Turnpike Cumberland Valley rest stop. 

With highway rest stops closed, PennDOT tells truckers to use privately owned ones   

In response to concerns about shuttered highway rest stops, PennDOT is advising truckers to patronize privately owned truck stops. KYW Newsradio’s Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo reports. 

PennDOT closes driver, photo license centers, extends expiration dates   

For driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from Monday through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30. For vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30. For persons with disabilities, parking placards scheduled to expire by March 31, the expiration date is now extended until April 30. 

No road construction: PennDOT shuts down offices, operations over coronavirus emergency   

PennDOT is suspending all operations, including construction, except critical and emergency work as coronavirus concerns continue to spread throughout Pennsylvania. 

Pennsylvania Turnpike won’t accept cash to help stop spread of coronavirus   

If you plan to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike over the next two weeks, you won’t be handing cash or a credit card to a toll worker. 



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 11

March 16, 2020

PennDOT asks Homeland Security to extend Real ID deadline amid coronavirus pandemic   

PennDOT is asking federal officials to extend the Oct. 1 Real ID enforcement deadline in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Funding plan for Pennsylvania State Police falls far short   

We favor a proposal along the lines of the first two that Wolf put forth on this issue. Assessing a per capita fee on communities that rely on troopers for coverage serves the dual purpose of bringing in revenue for the state police and encouraging municipalities to make local arrangements for law enforcement. 



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 10

March 9, 2020

Legislation would create additional funding options for infrastructure projects

House Bill 2064 would allow county infrastructure banks to apply for loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank. The state bank would provide lower interest rates and special terms that are otherwise unavailable to a county infrastructure bank.

I-80 exits to Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Poconos closed until May

An Interstate 80 exit to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Poconos is closed in both directions until late May. Paving work begun Monday closed the on-and off-ramps at exit 277 on I-80 in Kidder Township, Carbon County, which leads to Route 940 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension/Lake Harmony, PennDOT said.

Work zone speed cameras about to be enforced. Here’s what it means.

Registered car owners will receive a warning letter for an initial offense, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said. A second violation will result in a $75 fine and the fine goes up to $150 for a third offense.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 9

March 2, 2020

Gas, diesel pumps closed for 10 weeks at Turnpike’s Allentown service center

The service plaza, accessible to both northbound and southbound turnpike traffic, will close the pumps starting 7 a.m. Monday, through May 21, according to a news release. Business 7-Eleven will be replacing the underground fuel tanks, fuel lines and installing new fuel dispensers at the plaza’s fuel pumps.

New PA Turnpike proposal for Allegheny Tunnel in Somerset County

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said the project is still in its very early stages, and that it will be years before any dirt is even moved.

Etown’s alum in politics series: Rep. Martina White

Having graduated from Etown with a B.S. in Business Administration and dual focuses in finance and marketing, White said she feels that the College’s business professors had a significant influence on her professional development and later entry into politics.

KYW In Depth: A look at e-scooters in Pennsylvania

Advocates of personal electric vehicles, or PEVs, say having a shared e-scooter program similar to Philadelphia’s current bike-share program would benefit commuters and tourists that need to go that extra mile public transportation just can’t provide.

Only a fraction of Pa. residents have a Real ID, but PennDOT says that’s OK

PennDOT said so far, only about 821,000 of the roughly 9.8 million people with state IDs and driver’s licenses have made the switch. But spokesman Diego Sandino said even though it’s a relatively small number, the department believes it’s on track.

Could charging Pa. motorists for rush-hour driving pay for infrastructure? PennDOT wants to find out

Officials at PennDOT told a House panel this week that they’re studying a congestion fee as a solution to the state’s constant search for cash to fund highway and public transit investment.

PennDOT faces big costs and dwindling resources

During a budget appropriation hearing on Tuesday, state lawmakers pressed PennDOT’s acting secretary to explain how the agency sets its priorities and asked about funding concerns. One thing was clear: the commonwealth is going to have to find a lot more money.

Consensus still lacking on solution to Pennsylvania transportation woes

A House Appropriations Committee budget hearing descended into partisan bickering after lawmakers blamed each other for rejecting ideas that could generate revenue for the state’s aging transportation infrastructure.