President-elect Donald Trump nominates Elaine Chao as secretary of transportation

November 30, 2016

819px-elaine_chao_large-819x675President-elect Donald Trump announced that Elaine Chao is his nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation. Chao is the former secretary of labor under President George W. Bush.

Chao has had a long and successful career in Washington. She’s the first Asian-American woman to have held a cabinet-level position. Before becoming labor secretary, she served as a deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush. Her work in transportation was primarily in maritime travel; Chao was the chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission.

In addition to her service in the federal government, Chao has been president and CEO of the United Way of America, director of the Peace Corps and a distinguished fellow with the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation.

She is also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

“We are encouraged by Chao’s strong record in transportation and labor issues at the federal level,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “The Trump administration has promised major investment in infrastructure, and the secretary of transportation will play a critical role in that work.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 102

November 30, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania Switches to Annual Inspections

Pennsylvania trucking companies and the Pennsylvania Motor Carriers Association are celebrating in the wake of Gov. Tom Wolf’s signing of pro-trucking legislation into law on Nov. 4.

The new law requires annual inspections instead of semi-annual inspections for large commercial trucks as had been the case in Pennsylvania. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all trucks to undergo FMCSA-certified inspections annually. Only California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland and New Hampshire require trucks to be inspected more often.

Blue road stripe raises eyebrows of transportation officials

A community in central Pennsylvania has raised eyebrows at the state transportation department by coloring inside the lines.

Road crews in Conoy Township painted a blue stripe between the double-yellow lines on some streets to express support for police, firefighters and ambulance crews.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 101

November 21, 2016

PDSITELOGO2TWU Local 234 members approve SEPTA contract

A contract that ended a weeklong transit strike earlier this month was ratified by union members Friday night, the final approval needed to put the agreement into effect. Members of the Transport Workers Union Local 234 voted 1,982-760 to accept the five-year contract.

Some Pa. Turnpike projects in Philly region could be scrapped

Six expansion projects planned by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, including some in the Philadelphia region, could be axed because of money the agency is required to divert to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The commission said that a yearly payment of $450 million made to PennDOT is hampering its ability to maintain and improve the Turnpike.

Source: Rep. Lou Barletta Is In The Hunt For Secretary Of Transportation

Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta is attempting to become the Secretary of Transportation, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Caller. Rep. Barletta was an early supporter of President-elect Donald Trump and is on Trump’s transition executive committee.

Conservatives vs. Trump’s infrastructure plan

One of Donald Trump’s top campaign promises — a trillion-dollar program to rebuild highways, tunnels, bridges and airports — is already meeting resistance from conservatives. The president-elect has vowed that his infrastructure proposal will create “millions” of jobs, likening it to Dwight Eisenhower’s creation of the interstate highway system.



President-elect Trump proposes $1T infrastructure plan

November 18, 2016

Road constructionFollowing his electoral victory last Tuesday night, President-elect Donald Trump has delved further into the policy required to enact some of his campaign promises. One such promise was $1 trillion invested in infrastructural improvements.

His proposal is a 10-year program, with funding for highways, tunnels, bridges and airports. The funding comes in large part from tax credits to spur private investment. It does not include any changes to the Highway Trust Fund, or an increase in the federal gas tax.

The plan was mentioned in Trump’s acceptance speech in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Trump said. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure — which will become, by the way, second to none — and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

Trump’s proposal has garnered much support in the transportation industry, and on both sides of the aisle of Congress in Washington. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster, from Pennsylvania, called the plan “encouraging” and said that “the idea of addressing transportation is gaining some traction in Washington.”

“The highway industry in Pennsylvania is very much looking forward to seeing this proposal enacted,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “We are glad the president-elect acknowledges the improvements that need to be made to our infrastructure, and we are ready to get to work.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 100

November 14, 2016

PDSITELOGO2Law Enforcement, PennDOT Focus on Seat-Belt Use, Impaired Driving as Holiday Travel Period Begins

The Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) invite parents and caregivers to make this holiday season a safer one by taking advantage of free car seat checks across the state that will complement the nationwide Click It or Ticket “Operation Safe Holiday” enforcement effort occurring from November 20 through December 4.

Former Pa. Governor, Oklahoma City Mayor to Talk Infrastructure Nov. 14

Pennsylvania’s former governor and infrastructure proponent Ed Rendell (D) will be joined by Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett for an in-depth look at infrastructure and transportation needs for the coming year.

The event, hosted by Bloomberg News at its Washington, D.C., bureau, aims to pull back the curtain at the Trump administration’s focus on highway spending. The presenters at the event also will share perspective on Republican congressional leaders’ agenda for the next two years on infrastructure funding for massive highway programs.

It’s a wrap: Erie region road work all but finished for season

State highway officials are closing the books on a busy 2016 construction season.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation oversaw $73 million worth of construction on area bridges and roadways this year.

Industry pins hopes on Trump delivering freight infrastructure boost

Democrats and Republicans alike are encouraged that a Trump Administration could inject freight infrastructure with a much-needed funding boost, allowing shippers to avoid disruptions and save on transport costs.

Those attending the 2016 JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Memphis this week lauded the Trump team’s promise to introduce legislation within his first 100 days in office that would “spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment” over the course of a decade. The Republican president-elect has also promised the bill will be “revenue neutral,” leveraging “public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives.”