PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 35

August 29, 2022

Pa. license plate frame enough for police to pull you over, court rules

A state appellate court ruling affirmed the right of police officers to stop drivers if any part of their license plate is obscured. That doesn’t just include the unique combination of letters and numbers that make up a person’s license plate — but any lettering — including the URL — or, for that matter, the paint around it.

How to pay for Pa.’s bridges? An open question

The defeat of PennDOT’s plan to toll bridges across the Commonwealth ended one transportation battle, but it did not solve another question: how to pay for transportation infrastructure. The Senate Transportation Committee met on Wednesday to learn more about the issue.

Best states for infrastructure

The condition of infrastructure is key to evaluating the quality of life for any state’s citizens. While the U.S. is among the top nations for education, entrepreneurship and quality of life, it lags behind in infrastructure, earning a C- in the American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 Infrastructure Report Card.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 34

August 22, 2022

Pa. State Transportation Commission updates 12-Year Program

Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Commission has updated the 12-Year Program. A total of $84 billion is anticipated to be available over the next 12 years and will go toward roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.

Public hearing on Act 84 and improving Pa. major bridges

Senate Transportation Committee
Wednesday, August 24, 1 p.m.
Southwestern PA Commission
112 Washington Place, 4th Floor, South Room
Pittsburgh, PA

PennDOT offers second chance to drivers facing suspension

PennDOT announced that select drivers facing a suspension due to accumulation of points on their driving records or for a conviction of excessive speeding now have a chance at redemption through successfully completing the newly-instituted Driver Improvement School.

Counties with the most super commuters in Pa.

There are more than 283 million vehicles on the road in the United States, and many of those cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles are used to ferry people to and from their homes and jobs during their daily commutes.

New Pa. law authorizes truck weigh system

Pennsylvania recently became the 48th state to adopt a truck weigh system. Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to direct PennDOT to establish an electronic weigh station bypass system for trucks moving across the state.

Pa. to open facility addressing traffic incident management

Three Pennsylvania agencies recently announced plans to open a facility assisting emergency responders, transportation technology companies, and research institutions while supporting the local economy.

Roosevelt Boulevard anti-speeding program a success

According to data released by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, in the first seven months of its implementation, Automated Speed Enforcement helped reduce traffic fatalities occurring on Roosevelt Boulevard by an approximate 50%.



Electric vehicle update

August 15, 2022

They may not be getting lots of attention, but electric vehicles are gearing up to take a significant bite out of market share in the years ahead.

PennDOT reports that there are now more than 31,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, three times the number that were registered in March 2019.

Last month, PennDOT submitted its plan to the federal government for building a network of charging ports across the state. The plan (which can be found at this link) calls for at least 5,000 EV charging ports at 2,000 sites in Pennsylvania by 2028.

PennDOT counts 2,800 public charging ports at more than 1,200 locations across Pennsylvania at present.

The plan was required in order to receive $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds over the next five years. An additional $2.5 billion in grant funding is available as well.

Also tied to the funding is something called the EV Equity Guiding Principles, which states are obliged to follow. They include making EVs more affordable and charging more accessible; investing in fleet electrification; investing in traditionally underserved, low-income, persons of color and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and increasing EV awareness, education and technical capacity.

Vehicle manufacturers across the globe have expressed strong interest in growing the EV market, and advances in battery and charging technology have piqued consumer interest. Prices will become more competitive as the market grows and as environmental standards tighten.

Pennsylvania also must settle in on a system to assure that all vehicle users make a fair contribution to bridge and road construction and maintenance. Currently, EV users do not contribute to paying for the wear and tear on the transportation system.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 33

August 15, 2022

Self-driving vehicle testing, training facility slated for East Huntingdon

A $20 million facility for testing and research of self-driving vehicles will be built in Westmoreland County, state officials announced Thursday.

Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to see improvements

The Hill District will receive $11.3 million to help rebuild its roads and sidewalks on Centre Avenue, local politicians announced Tuesday. The city will use the money to reconstruct intersections, install green infrastructure, build a bike path and take other traffic calming measures.

SEPTA changing schedules, adding service to boost ridership

SEPTA is adding some service in their continuing effort to increase ridership. The transit agency is expanding its schedule beginning Aug. 21 to help bring back riders to the line, according to spokesperson Kelly Greene.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 7, No. 32

August 9, 2022

Buttigieg: “Important that we get to zero emissions as quickly as we can”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discussed the Biden administration’s industrial policy goals during an interview this week on CNBC.

Transportation Sec. Buttigieg tours terminal upgrades at LVIA

Amid a summer of flight delays and cancellations across the country, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited the area Tuesday to highlight significant funding being used to upgrade Lehigh Valley International Airport.

PennDOT no longer pursuing plans to toll 9 bridges

The Commonwealth Court ruled PennDOT violated state law with those proposed tolls. On Wednesday, PennDOT announced it would not appeal that ruling.

CSVT first month: Truckers, responding well

It’s been about a month of new traffic patterns with the addition of CSVT, and so far, the community and outside travelers and truckers have responded well.

Wilkes-Barre officials meet with PennDOT on passenger rail service study

City officials Wednesday held a follow-up meeting with PennDOT representatives to discuss passenger rail service. PennDOT has agreed to fund a preliminary study on establishing service between Wilkes-Barre and several other possible cities in the state.

Pa. Turnpike to increase toll by 5% for 2023

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Tuesday that it has approved a 5% toll increase for 2023. The increase will be in effect for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers.

Revenue Department releases July 2022 collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $240.9 million for the month, which includes the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues. July collection data does not include a comparison against anticipated amounts because revenue estimates for each month are not yet finalized.