PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 2

January 8, 2024

Turnpike to begin testing electrified parking spaces to charge EVs

The Pennsylvania Turnpike’s dip into electric vehicle charging expects to take a big step forward in 2024 with the installation of charging pads at its headquarters near Harrisburg.

After 60 years, Mon-Fayette Expressway starts to take shape

It took more than 60 years for the Allegheny County portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway to go from an idea to actual construction, but that first year of construction in Jefferson Hills started with a flourish.

‘Motor voter’ registration up 38%, independents lead new registrants

Pennsylvania’s shift to automatic voter registration at PennDOT driver and photo license centers resulted in a nearly 38% increase in new registrants since its enactment last fall, with independent voters outnumbering those who chose to join either major party.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 9, No. 1

January 3, 2024

Year in review: Pa. transportation

Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure is a constant focus of legislative attention, fitting for a state with multitudes of bridges, roads, weather, and terrain that means unending maintenance costs.

Pa.’s electric vehicle marathon

The Biden administration set a target for electric vehicles, or EVs, to account for half of all new vehicle sales by 2030. However, concerns about vehicle cost, range anxiety and limited charging infrastructure have led to slower-than-expected adoption rates.

Pa. drivers to see more automatic speed checks in work zones in 2024

According to the 2023 AWZSE Annual Report, there has been a 47% reduction in excessive speeding (11+ mph over the speed limit) in work zones and 38% in overall speeding (1+ mph over the speed limit) since the program began in March 2020. The initiative has been fully supported by the Turnpike Commission, PennDOT and the Pa. State Police.

States warn of ‘Band-Aids and duct tape’ for road maintenance

Across the country, state transportation departments are warning that public safety is at risk if lawmakers don’t overhaul how road maintenance gets funded.

Why PA Turnpike tolls are increasing in 2024

The Pennsylvania Turnpike might be taking a toll on your wallet, but not paying them can put you in the fast lane to even higher costs.

Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority hires firm to develop service plan

The Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority got some big news recently that has given a boost to the effort to restore passenger rail service from Reading to Philadelphia with stops in Pottstown and Phoenixville.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 50

December 19, 2023

Automated work zone speed cameras reauthorized

State lawmakers and Gov. Josh Shapiro this week reauthorized the deployment of automated speed cameras that are primarily used in work zones to deter speeding in areas where people maintenance or construction crews are often separated from fast-moving traffic by cones or channelizing device.

Shapiro recounts 2023 accomplishments

Since taking office, Governor Shapiro and his administration have gotten stuff done by repairing our roads and bridges, investing in infrastructure, and supporting Pennsylvania’s state parks – from reopening a portion of I-95 in Philadelphia just 12 days after its collapse to delivering the largest investment in state parks in decades.

Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to transition to cashless tolling

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced its plan to shift its network of toll bridges to cashless all-electronic toll collections by January 2025.

Municipalities ill-equipped to apply for transportation grants

Though small localities qualify for state and federal funds to match transportation projects, they have a devil of a time getting them. PennDOT’s State Transportation Commission has cast its attention on the problem, partnering with the Center for Rural Pennsylvania to survey the issues and suggest more state matching funds to overcome some hurdles and change some property tax rules.

Pa. invests $42.5 million in 25 rail projects

PennDOT announced the approval of 25 rail freight improvement projects that will enhance freight mobility while creating or sustaining nearly 300 jobs across Pennsylvania.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 49

December 11, 2023

Bob Donnan: Pa. must build EV infrastructure

As Pennsylvania continues to make significant strides toward a cleaner and more sustainable future, it is crucial that we seize the opportunity to leverage federal investments in building out our electric vehicle infrastructure.

Casey, Fetterman announce $144M grant to expand Amtrak’s Philly to Pgh. service

U.S. Sens Bob Casey (D-PA) and John Fetterman (D-PA) on Wednesday announced a $143.6 million Federal Railroad Administration grant for track and safety improvements that will support expanded Amtrak passenger service between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

PennDOT mulls several big fixes for truck parking problem

During a meeting of the State Transportation Advisory Committee on Thursday, recommendations include state incentives for truck parking, repurposing state-owned properties, and adding parking into economic development projects and county comprehensive plans.

Cities hope AI camera enforcement can improve bus service

Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., are using bus-mounted cameras with AI technology to better enforce parking violations, hoping to clear transit lanes of vehicles and make public transit faster and safer.

Pa. receives $110 million in grants for wildlife road crossing safety

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will receive $840,000 to develop a comprehensive statewide strategic plan with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and others to address the wide-ranging challenges and opportunities associated with the safe management and stewardship for wildlife crossings across the state.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 8, No. 48

December 5, 2023

Why are roundabouts becoming popular in Pennsylvania?

PennDOT states that roundabouts offer improved safety due to them having “fewer conflict points, slower speeds, and easier decision-making.” The Federal Highway Administration adds that the only movement at an entry or exit in a roundabout is a right turn. Which reduces the frequency and severity of accidents.

Over 20K crashes in Pa. involved drivers ages 65

In a release compiling data from 2022, PennDOT says that an average of 25% of Pennsylvania’s 9.1 million licensed drivers are 65 years old and up. In 2022, there were 20,590 crashes involving at least one driver aged 65 or older that resulted in 287 total fatalities. This represents 17.7% of all crashes and 24.3% of all fatalities.

Automated speed enforcement could stick around

Several speed enforcement programs across the state are expected to expire in the next few months – However, new legislation could extend those programs for several more years. One such program is called the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement, a pilot program launched in 2020 to keep drivers and road workers safe.

Revenue Department releases November collections

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $273.6 million for the month, $5.8 million below 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 $1.3 billion, which is $10.0 million, or 0.7 percent, below estimate.