PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 43

October 30, 2023

SEPTA reaches tentative deal with union, averting strike

SEPTA reached a tentative deal with its largest union, the Transit Workers Union Local 234, on Friday, averting a strike. The ratification vote will be held Nov. 10.

How switching to motorcycles can save drivers on transportation costs

With the rising costs of transportation, many are on the hunt for a viable, cost-effective alternative. If you’re contemplating this transition, here’s some food for thought: motorcycles can be your ticket to significant savings.

School bus safety bill heads to governor

The Pennsylvania Senate sent legislation sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) to the Governor’s desk Monday by a unanimous vote. Senate Bill 851 will extend and revamp the school bus stop arm automated enforcement program.

Pa. transportation systems need funding

Pennsylvania lawmakers are finally coming to realize what transit riders have known for a long time — that the state’s public transportation systems desperately need additional funding.

Pa. State Police cadet applications up 240%

Following the elimination of the college credit requirement on Pennsylvania State Police cadet applications, the number of eligible applications per month has increased by 240%, according to state police.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 42

October 24, 2023

I-83 expansion through Harrisburg set to start next week, continue for years

PennDOT announced that the long-awaited I-83 reconstruction project through Harrisburg, expected to take about five years, will begin this week. Weather permitting, the contractor, New Enterprise, Pa.-based New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co., will begin to erect long-term signage on northbound I-83 from the South Bridge to the Eisenhower Interchange, according to PennDOT.

Pgh. transit performance audit shows improvement, auditor general says

Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor released a performance audit for the Pittsburgh Regional Transit agency showing improvement over the last one.

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission hosts workshop on transportation decarbonization

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission hosted “WorkshopLV: Environment + Transportation,” an almost two-hour long meeting to brainstorm and prioritize ways to decarbonize transportation from across the region.

‘Motor voter’ registrations jump 54% with automatic process at PennDOT license centers

There were 11,303 new voter registrations from Sept. 19 through Oct. 18 at PennDOT driver and photo license centers, according to Commonwealth Secretary Al Schmidt. That’s a 54% increase over the 7,323 registrations at the centers during the same period in 2021, which was the last non-federal election cycle.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 41

October 16, 2023

Passing a stopped school bus? Don’t forget to smile for your $300 portrait

Sometime next week, Cumberland Valley School District will hit the switch on a new on-board camera technology that will dramatically improve its ability to identify and fine drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.

PennDOT seeks public-private partnership proposals

PennDOT announced Thursday that it would be accepting unsolicited public-private partnership proposals for transportation projects through Nov. 10.

Public EV charging may get private boost

House Bill 1474, introduced by Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Royersford, would allow businesses to tap into private funding he says will encourage them to invest in the development of the statewide electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Doing so will install EV charging at shopping centers, apartment buildings, and “countless other places” for employees and customers.

14 retailers awarded grants to install EV chargers

Sheetz, Wawa, Marabito, Turkey Hill and several other convenience retailers and partners were awarded nearly $36 million in grants to install electric-vehicle chargers at stores across Pennsylvania.

What you need to know about the Vision Zero Annual Report 2023

On Tuesday, October 10, Mayor Kenney, along with city and state representatives, PennDOT, the Vision Zero Task Force and community partners, launched the Vision Zero Annual Report 2023 and the website “Complete Streets Projects Transform Traffic Safety.”

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 40

October 9, 2023

Senate approves Rothman bill to fund local bridges

Currently, state Motor License Fund dollars are appropriated for the construction and repair of county bridges. While the funds are used to repair county-owned bridges, current spending guidance fails to note how the funds could be used for bridges owned by municipalities within said counties. As a result, municipal bridges suffer and go without repair while remaining funds go unused due to ambiguous guidance.

Neilson speaks on extending automated speed enforcement programs

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., joined a news conference where he spoke in support of his bill, H.B. 1284, which would extend and expand multiple Automated Speed Enforcement programs scheduled to expire in the coming weeks and months.

Unpaid Turnpike tolls target of Pa. bill

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 13-1 to advance a bill that calls for garnishing certain Pennsylvania lottery winnings and state income tax returns of non-paying turnpike users. Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, said the Pennsylvania Turnpike reported a projected total of $155 million in unpaid tolls from April 2021 to March 2022. That amount was up 49% from the previous year.

AAA warns drivers of deer mating season and higher risk of car crashes

AAA officials said the area is entering deer mating season, when the animals are more likely to cross roads leading to serious, even fatal, car crashes.

Revenue Department releases September collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $257.6 million for the month, $4.2 million above estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $812.5 million, which is $6.0 million, or 0.7 percent, below estimate.

 

News

APC and PennDOT featured in Washington event

October 6, 2023

Replacement of Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge and a portion of I-95 destroyed by a tanker fire in Philadelphia were the topics of a presentation to some 40 congressional staff members on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Deputy PennDOT Secretary Cheryl Moon-Sirianni was joined by APC members Andrew Swank and Rob Buckley. The Fern Hollow bridge, which collapsed in early 2022, was replaced in less than a year, while I-95 was reopened in less than two weeks this summer with a temporary fix.

The presentation focused on steps that PennDOT took to expedite the work, beginning with the declaration of an emergency and cooperation among the various participants. The event was sponsored by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, a national trade group.