PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 45

November 16, 2020

PennDOT green lights plan to add tolls on some bridges

The Department of Transportation has given the green light for a proposal that could add tolls on an undetermined number of bridges. Which bridges might be involved has not been announced.

State seeks to add Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Amtrak train

Amtrak’s proposal to add another Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg daily round-trip train in about three years is good news to Sharon Calloway of Uniontown, a frequent traveler on the Pennsylvanian train from Greensburg to New York City, where she works.

Infrastructure, jobs are key to coming together under Biden, say Pa. Republicans, unions

After more than a decade of division — Republicans trying to block Barack Obama at every move and Democrats questioning Donald Trump’s legitimacy — President-elect Joe Biden is inheriting a contentious crowd.

P-3 Board approves bridge program

Pennsylvania’s Public Private Transportation Partnership (P3) Board today approved a new transportation initiative that will help accelerate the reconstruction and rehabilitation of major bridges in partnership with the private sector.

Pa. governor announces Municipal Assistance Program

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of six projects through the Municipal Assistance Program to assist local governments with planning for zoning, coordinating emergency services, and creating comprehensive plans.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 44

November 10, 2020

PennDOT celebrates near-completion of Route 322/Potters Mills Gap project

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Executive Deputy Secretary George McAuley joined local officials today at a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the near-completion of the Route 322 project near the village of Potters Mills.

What an ‘Amtrak Joe’ presidency means for transportation

With Pennsylvania pushing him over the edge, former Vice President Joe Biden is now President-elect Joe Biden. The man with a railroad in his nickname can now start planning for a presidency that could be shaped — in more ways than one — by transportation and infrastructure.

$6 million secured for U.S. Route 219 completion studies

Six million dollars in federal funding has been secured for the resumption of environmental and engineering studies associated with upgrading the last two-lane section of U.S. Route 219 in Somerset County to a four-lane limited-access highway, state officials announced Monday.

Would private firm want to operate the turnpike?

A recent study by the Reason Foundation suggests that Pennsylvania should consider leasing the operations of the turnpike to a private firm in exchange for a large upfront payment.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 43

November 2, 2020

PennDOT, Pa. Turnpike Commission support automated truck platooning demonstration

Truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in convoy using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems. These vehicles automatically maintain a set, close distance between each other when they are connected. Two automated and connected tractor trailers traveled from Pittsburgh, through Ohio, to Michigan.

Feds sending $15.9 million to upgrade rail signals on Amtrak’s Keystone line

The federal government is sending more than $15.9 million to upgrade railroad signals between Paoli and Overbrook. The project will replace an outdated signal system on the route, also known as the Keystone East Line. The upgraded system will improve operations, enable higher operating speeds and allow the bi-directional movement of trains on tracks in the area, officials said.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 42

October 27, 2020

‘Steer Clear’ law revisions in Pennsylvania continue to advance

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance a bill to revamp the Steer Clear law. The bill, SB1281, awaits further consideration in the House.

Legislation establishes rules for autonomous delivery robots

Legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Ryan P. Aument (R-Lancaster County), would establish rules for the operation of Personal Delivery Devices (PDDs), autonomous robots that deliver packages to consumers and businesses within an approximately three-mile radius.

Saucon Rail Trail extension into Bucks close to completion

The Upper Bucks Rail Trail will extend from where the Saucon Rail Trail ends–along the Lehigh-Bucks county line near Coopersburg–south through Springfield Township to Veterans Park in Richland Township, which is just off E. Pumping Station Road.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 41

October 19, 2020

Philly-area urban planner says COVID-19 hasn’t ended driving

A recent study, by accounting and consulting firm KPMG, suggests a nationwide decline in the number of people on the roads may never recover from the pandemic, but a Philadelphia-area expert says the effect has been highly exaggerated.

Legislation would transfer Amtrak line to Pennsylvania

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would require Amtrak to transfer ownership of the Keystone East Line to Pennsylvania.

Amtrak wants billions in additional funding for the Northeast Corridor

Amtrak wants more than $1.7 billion in federal tax dollars for the Northeast Corridor, William J. Flynn, Amtrak’s president & CEO, said in a letter to congressional leaders. The money is part of more than $4.8 billion the railroad wants in the 2021 fiscal year to help it recover from COVID-19. Amtrak says it might need to eliminate 2,400 jobs and curtail service if it doesn’t get the money.

SEPTA adjusts expectations on regional rail ridership

The continuing effects of COVID-19 on the Philadelphia region has forced SEPTA to adjust expectations for the return of regional rail riders and for restoring more train service.