PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 33

August 17, 2020

PennDOT needs volunteers to test mileage-based tax

PennDOT is looking for drivers to help test a mileage-based taxing program to replace motor fuels taxes, a declining source of revenue due to efficient vehicles, hybrids and COVID-19.

State Transportation Commission adopts updated 12-Year Transportation Program

The State Transportation Commission has updated the 12-Year Program. The new plan anticipates $64.8 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads.

‘We’re back in business,’ Northumberland mayor says after completion of road project

The three-year, $14 million Duke Street project was completed Monday.

Penske opens electric vehicle charging stations

Penske Truck Leasing, a Reading-based transportation services provider, recently opened its sixth heavy-duty electric vehicle charging station in Southern California.

Concrete deck on highway bridge across Susquehanna River is completed

The concrete deck for the nearly mile-long Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway bridge across the West Branch Susquehanna River is finished.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 32

August 10, 2020

Pennsylvania bill would reinstate turnpike toll collectors

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 13-1 to reverse a decision made by the commission to permanently let go of 492 employees, most of which were fare collectors.

SEPTA introduces social distancing coaches

SEPTA is introducing social distancing coaches to help promote mask-wearing compliance and social distancing.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 31

August 4, 2020

Coronavirus led to less traffic

The coronavirus pandemic upended commuting patterns in the Pittsburgh region. In the early months of Pennsylvania’s shutdown, traffic dropped by as much as 50 percent in Allegheny County, according to Streetlight Data. On average, PennDOT officials say vehicular traffic remains about 20 percent lower than normal.

Report: 49 percent of Americans support mileage fees

A report from the Mineta Transportation Institute found that nearly half of all Americans support a mileage fee and that 75 percent of Americans support a gas tax increase if the money is used on maintenance projects.

PennDOT deals with COVID-19

Western Pennsylvania has two seasons — winter and road construction — or so the old gag goes. But this year, construction season is overlapping with pandemic season. And PennDOT’s road crews are clad in suitable attire, including face coverings.

Fare hikes, layoffs, shutdowns possible for Pa. mass transit without billions in funding

People who rely on mass transit are concerned because their means to get around – as well as their jobs – could be in danger if critical funding isn’t provided quickly.

There’s not enough money to fix all of the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, PennDOT says

The Wolf administration is projecting gas tax revenue could decline as much as $800 million over the next 18 months.\

PennDOT seeks public’s input with annual highway safety survey

PennDOT has released its annual online Highway Safety Survey and is encouraging motorists to take it.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 30

July 27, 2020

Reading Area Transportation Study group approves $274.8 million four-year transportation plan

The Reading Area Transportation Study group unanimously approved a $274.8 million four-year transportation improvement plan, but there is much uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect it.

PennDOT extends expiration dates for Pennsylvania driver’s licenses, ID cards and learner’s permits

Expiration dates for Pennsylvania driver licenses, identification cards and learner’s permits are being extended again, this time until Aug. 31, PennDOT said Friday.

With e-bikes becoming more popular, Pa. lawmakers want to regulate where you can ride them

A bill being considered by Pennsylvania’s House Transportation Committee seeks to update the state’s vehicle code to regulate these so-called e-bikes and determine where they can operate.

Pa. Turnpike raising tolls again in 2021; those without E-ZPass will pay much more

Those driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike should expect to pay more next year, and those without E-ZPass could see a significant increase in their tolls.



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 29

July 21, 2020

Pa., 14 other states set goals to jump-start transition to electric trucks

A coalition of states is following California’s lead in setting goals to jump-start a transition to electric-powered trucks, vans and buses in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality for communities choked by diesel fumes.

Governor Wolf announces investments in 27 multimodal projects

Governor Tom Wolf announced that 27 highway, bridge, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects in 23 counties were selected for $30.2 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

$451M Lehigh Valley transportation plan heads to PennDOT, the feds

Local officials have signed off on a $451 million transportation plan for Lehigh Valley roads and bridges over the next four years, without the Route 22 widening project as planned.

House OKs bill to honor Geist

Legislation to honor former state Rep. Richard A. Geist was approved by the House, said state Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Blair, the author of the bill. “Rick” Geist was an Altoona native and a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 79th District who was first elected in 1978. He represented Altoona in the state House of Representatives from 1979 to 2012.

Unity museum program will provide trip through Pa. highway history

The evolution of Pennsylvania’s road system will be discussed by Jeff Kitsko July 27 at the Lincoln Highway Experience transportation museum in Unity.

Long-delayed Lehigh Valley bridge projects nearing completion

Two Lehigh Valley bridges — the final projects in a statewide bridge replacement project — should finally be completed in early August after years of delays.