PHIA News Digest – Vol. 47

October 26, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Few Railroads On Track To Meet End-Of-Year Safety Deadline
Railroads warn they may have to shut down unless Congress extends an end-of-the-year deadline to install new safety equipment called Positive Train Control.

PTC is a complex system that monitors a train’s location and speed, then automatically slows down or stops a locomotive if the engineer doesn’t respond to a danger warning.

How You Can Track PennDOT Plows This Winter
The jack-o-lanterns have not yet found their way to the compost pile, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is already thinking about getting its snow plows on the road. This year, managers and the public will be better able to keep tabs on those trucks.

The department announced Thursday that crews have outfitted 728 of its plows with an Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system, which tracks the state-owned trucks on an online map. Read more


PennDOT encourages teens to be safer drivers

October 20, 2015

TEENDRIVERPennDOT has launched several initiatives to make teen drivers in Pennsylvania safer to themselves and other motorists.

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards kicked off Teen Driver Safety Week to raise awareness about the dangers of young drivers. There were 113,029 crashes involving at least one teen driver in Pennsylvania in the last five years, resulting in 859 fatalities.

“Safely operating a vehicle requires complex evaluations, split-second decisions and intricate maneuvers. Parents are in the best position to evaluate a teen driver’s knowledge, skills and abilities behind the wheel,” said Richards. “Parents setting a positive, safe example for young drivers in their family and continuing to monitor young drivers after they receive their license helps establish a mentality of safety behind the wheel among teen drivers.” Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 46

October 19, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania transit system one of few to meet federal safety system deadline
The transit system next door to New Jersey is one of a few railroads that could meet a Dec. 31 deadline to have an automatic speed control system running.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officials said they’ll make the deadline to have Positive Train Control running, barring any issues during testing.

Shared ride regionalization moves forward for Cumberland County
Cumberland County is one step closer to finalizing regionalization of its shared ride service.

The board of commissioners will advertise an ordinance indicating the county’s desire to join with the York Adams Transportation Authority.

Pennsylvania panel advances bill to add cameras to work zones
An effort at the Pennsylvania statehouse to improve safety in active work zones throughout the state has taken the first step toward passage.

In 2014, there were 1,841 crashes that resulted in 24 deaths in work zones throughout Pennsylvania – up from 16 deaths the previous year.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to set up a five-year pilot program for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to post speed cameras in active work zones on interstates and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 45

October 12, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Associated Pennsylvania Constructors fear ongoing trend looms in budget stalemate
As Gov. Tom Wolf pushes his revised tax plan this week as part of a contentiously debated proposed state budget, the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) wants to see the final product be more beneficial for the group’s 400-plus members.

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based trade association specifically does not want to see a budget approved that would move the commonwealth’s highway improvement funds into the general fund.

County to be part of regional transportation alliance
Lawrence County will be included in a public-private partnership’s community discussion about the future transportation picture in the region.

The Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania, launched earlier this month, is spearheading the dialogue to improve connections across the 10-county region, according to a news release it issued this month.

Pennsylvania senator’s statewide solution to regulate taxi, ride services gains steam
Consumers who use app-based car service Uber might have received a message this week seeking their political support as the company lobbies for a new set of state laws.

“In the coming weeks, Senators and Representatives have the chance to pass legislation to give Uber a permanent home in Pennsylvania,” reads the email. “We need your help!”



Nearly 200 highway users gather for PHIA’s annual meeting

October 8, 2015

Attendees were treated to seminars given by industry experts and transportation-focused elected officials including Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton, House Transportation Chairman Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), PennDOT P3 Director Michael Bonini, Senate Policy Chairman Senator David Argall, and many more.

Lou_Barletta,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress_(2)We got an update on the status of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Program that is currently underway to repair 558 structurally deficient bridges across the state, learned about legislation to improve work zone safety and hold reckless drivers accountable and Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) explained the debate going on in Washington, D.C. about transportation funding.  Barletta announced that he plans to introduce legislation in Washington modeling Pennsylvania’s Act 89 law in order to push Congress into adoptions of a comprehensive, long-term funding bill for the nation.

Secretary-Richards2PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards also joined us for lunch to address the need for consistent, reliable funding to maintain our roads and bridges. She says there have been talks about new sources of recurring revenue, but also emphasized the need to protect existing funding for highways – the Motor License Fund. Read more