PennDOT looking for input on transportation priorities

May 15, 2014

NEW_PENNDOTThe public is encouraged to participate in PennDOT’s new survey on transportation priorities and investments at as part of PennDOT’s efforts to update Pennsylvania’s Long Range Transportation Plan and develop the first Comprehensive Freight Movement Plan.

The survey, which is open until May 30, has already received more than 2,200 responses and asks respondents to identify their top transportation priorities. These priorities span all assets, ranging from bicycle and pedestrian facilities to freight connections.

Survey participants are also asked to rate various investment scenarios and how these affect their top priorities. Additionally, respondents can identify project needs addressing congestion, bridges, transit and other concerns. Read more


2014 Transportation Conference Presentations Available

May 13, 2014

201400507_047The presentations made during the 2014 PHIA Transportation Conference and Annual Meeting last week are now available for download or viewing.  To access them, click HERE.

More information will be posted as they become available in the next week.201400507_091

















2014 Transportation Conference a Success

May 8, 2014

PHIA members know that we don’t hand out our Advocate of the Year awards to just anyone. In fact, it’s not unusual for us to skip the award some years.

Tom CorbettThis year, however, we honored not one, but two transportation advocates, and it won’t surprise anyone to learn that they are Gov. Tom Corbett and PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. Both were instrumental in the passage of Act 89, Pennsylvania’s first-ever comprehensive, multimodal transportation funding measure. It wouldn’t have happened without them.

In fact, there was no shortage of kudos at this year’s Transportation Conference and Annual Meeting, held Wednesday at the Harrisburg Hilton. While the governor and Secretary Schoch – Barry was serving as PHIA president when he was nominated as secretary – deservedly took PHIA’s top honors, the organization bestowed special recognition on Sens. John Rafferty and John Wozniak, majority and minority chairs, respectively, of the Senate Transportation Committee; Reps. Nick Micozzie and Michael McGeehan, majority and minority chairs, respectively, of the House Transportation Committee; Sen. Jake Corman, who introduced the initial transportation funding legislation; House Speaker Sam Smith, who shepherded the final bill through the House; and the late Dick Hess, who was chairman of the House Transportation Committee at the time of his death, and who had been instrumental in paving the way for the funding bill in the House.

Also honored were George Wolff, founder of the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition, and Coalition member Mike Ryan, who headed the organization’s legislative outreach efforts for the last two years. Read more


PennDOT puts out $217 million in projects during April

May 1, 2014

NEW_PENNDOTThe effects of Act 89 continue to spike PennDOT lettings in 2014.   PennDOT bid a little over $217 million in projects in April, bringing the year-to-date total to over $667 million.  At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $336.3 million in lettings.  At this pace, PennDOT would end 2014 with over $2 billion in lettings.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue.  Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT coming close to $2 billion in construction lettings in 2014.  PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings. Read more


Ethanol driving recent gas price increases

April 10, 2014

While lifting the cap on Pennsylvania’s Oil Company Franchise Tax may have caused a modest increase in gas prices, recent news reports say that the larger culprit is the increasing price of ethanol.

Most gasoline sold in the U.S. is made up of approximately 10 percent ethanol, according to MarketWatch.  A volatile ethanol market is to blame for driving up gasoline prices since early February of this year.

Ethanol prices rose by 22 percent in March alone, and the price of ethanol to date has risen 30 percent, to $2.30 per gallon. The corn-based fuel has been a popular blending option in recent years, as it is cheaper than gasoline. The shortage of ethanol is due mostly to this winter’s harsh weather, which caused transportation disruptions. Read more