PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 31

August 7, 2017

Leaders discuss importance of regional transportation

Fifty-five percent of Indiana County residents who are employed commute to jobs beyond the county line. That piece of information from a discussion Thursday on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus underscores the importance of the concept of a regional transportation system and of connecting one county to another.

Legislature should create single agency for transportation

For the 10th time in 10 years, the state Turnpike Commission voted recently to raise tolls. This time it’s an average 6 percent increase.

These are the 3 things the US needs to do to stay competitive on infrastructure: Opinion

How does infrastructure in the U.S. compare to that of the rest of the world? It depends on who you ask.

Infrastructure lessons from one of the nation’s first P3s

The PA turnpike was one of the country’s first great public-private infrastructure projects, built by private contractors, financed with revenue bonds and repaid through drivers’ tolls.  We’re going to have to do something as innovative as that if we’re going to deal with the infrastructure problems we’re facing right now.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 30

August 2, 2017

Infrastructure lessons from one of the nation’s first P3s

The PA turnpike was one of the country’s first great public-private infrastructure projects, built by private contractors, financed with revenue bonds and repaid through drivers’ tolls. We’re going to have to do something as innovative as that if we’re going to deal with the infrastructure problems we’re facing right now.

Ride-sharing’s uneven effect on Pennsylvania transit agencies

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft began operating in Pennsylvania cities in 2014, but have had divergent effects on public transit agencies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The number of people who ride buses, trains and inclines in Pittsburgh has remained fairly steady, though fewer riders seem to be taking the last buses of the night, said Adam Brandolph, spokesperson for the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

Pa. speed camera bill gets boost from federal study

A proposal to bring speed cameras to Roosevelt Boulevard got a boost this week from a federal report encouraging states to approve the devices to make roads safer.

The report, issued Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board, “is decisive evidence that automatic speed enforcement is a critical tool we should apply towards preventing deaths and serious injuries,” Mayor Kenney said in a statement.

Cashless turnpike tolls coming to region

Drivers who travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Lackawanna County and northern Luzerne County should have a quicker ride starting next spring. The turnpike commission plans to unveil cashless tolling at the toll plazas just south of the Keyser Avenue interchange in Taylor and just south of the Clarks Summit interchange in South Abington Twp. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 29

July 24, 2017

Unfair? Many states charge out-of-state E-ZPass users more for tolls

There’s an E-ZPass “border war” going on, reports the Albany Times-Union. Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine all charge higher tolls on E-ZPass users registered out-of-state than in-state, the newspaper says.

PennDOT planning a four-year, major overhaul of I-81 in Susquehanna County

PennDOT is gearing up for a major highway reconstruction project that will impact a nine mile stretch of Interstate 81.

Train stations in midstate could start to look different in coming years

A number of train stations in the midstate could start to look a little different in the coming years. PennDOT is looking to partner with private developers, and stations in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Mount Joy and Elizabethtown are on the list.

Pa. Turnpike will hike tolls for each of the next 27 years, driving away users, analyst says

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s ninth straight annual toll increase, approved by its board Tuesday, helps pay for turnpike operations, plus the highway’s $500 million annual capital budget and $450 million for mass transit systems, including SEPTA.

Barletta grieves PennDOT worker’s death

A Hazleton man’s death along Interstate 81 was mentioned by U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta on Tuesday as he highlighted the need for stronger safety measures in highway work zones.

House panel approves transportation spending measure

The House Appropriations Committee July 17 approved, 31-20, legislation that would boost federal highway investment by $968 million in FY 2018 and cut a program that supports transit construction projects by $650 million.

Privatization plan hits turbulence; supporters still upbeat

A plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control operations has hit turbulence in the House, raising questions about whether one of President Donald Trump’s infrastructure priorities can survive.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 28

July 18, 2017

PDSITELOGO2On the road: Can America unjam?

I left sclerotic I-95 for SEPTA 10 years back. But true-believer road engineer Ananth Prasad, the former Florida highways chief who heads engineering contractor HTNB’s transportation group — they’ve been updating U.S. roads and trains since Henry Ford’s day — has me almost believing I could live to see I-76, Pa. 422, N.J. 42, and other jammed arteries pump us smoothly through the workweek if software, auto and construction giants, and government can apply digital tech for public advantage as well as private profits.

CATA ‘looking forward’ to fueling station, growth

More than 75 officials from Crawford County and the surrounding northwestern region of the state gathered Friday for the inaugural Crawford Area Transportation Authority Retreat. Work on a CNG-fueling station to service the vehicles began at CATA’s 2.35-acre Rogers Ferry Road property in April and is nearing completion.

Appeals court upholds Norco bridge contract

An appeals court has rejected a challenge to a multimillion-dollar contract to repair Northampton County’s aging bridges, upholding a project that county officials call the first of its kind.

Kriger Construction was chosen for the roughly $38-million deal to replace 28 bridges and rehab five others, under an innovative private-public partnership. But a competing contractor sued last year, charging a flawed bidding process when Kriger was selected.

Tuesday takes

How nice to hear that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission plans to go after drivers who owe more than $17 million in unpaid tolls, violations and related fees. That includes $3 million owed by motorists in Southwestern Pennsylvania alone.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 2, No. 27

July 5, 2017

PDSITELOGO2PA’s rural roads among the nation’s deadliest and least maintained

Pennsylvania’s rural roadways and bridges are among the most deadly and least maintained in the country, a study released Tuesday shows.

While maintaining aging roadways, bridges and related infrastructure is a challenge across the country, maintenance and safety are a particular problem in rural areas, according to TRIP, a national nonprofit organization that reviews land-based transportation data.

Pay your tolls or face vehicle registration suspension

Do you have outstanding toll violations in Pennsylvania? Better pay up now, or risk your vehicle registration being suspended. Warning notices have been inserted with motor vehicle registration renewals about the new state law that takes effect on Aug. 4.

SEPTA fare increases begin

Electronic card or token single ride fares will increase from $1.80 to $2; cash fares will increase from $2.25 a ride to $2.50; and weekly TransPass fares will increase from $24 to $25.50. SEPTA says the hike will help fund everyday expenses like labor, fuel and power.

Transportation wish list includes more buses, new connector

To improve Southwestern Pennsylvania’s competitiveness and quality of life for 2.5 million residents, public transportation must be improved, particularly along busy corridors connecting Pittsburgh with adjacent counties.

First PennDOT review of Port Authority operations finds few problems

The first state-mandated review of the Port Authority since passage of a 2007 law has reached the same conclusion as the agency’s internal reviews: The authority has a few areas to address but is mostly on solid financial footing.

Last leg of Mon-Fayette Expressway OK’d

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will include the last leg of the Mon-Fayette Expressway project in its long-range plan. The regional body voted 47-4 to include the controversial 14-mile extension in the plan, with three representatives from Pittsburgh-area groups and one from Butler County voting against it.


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