Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
The COVID relief bill passed shortly before Christmas contained some much-needed financial assistance for various transportation purposes.
PennDOT has confirmed that Pennsylvania will receive $410 million in federal funds, helping to avert a financial crisis that would likely have led to hundreds of layoffs of construction workers and public transportation employees.
Congress approved nearly $4 billion in supplemental transportation funding, above and beyond the $62 billion previously authorized for highway, public transportation and airport capital programs. The measure also reauthorized marine transportation construction programs.
In total, the package contained $45 billion in transportation spending and operational assistance. Specifically, the money will be distributed as follows:
- $16 billion for airline and airline contractor payroll support.
- $14 billion for public transportation agencies.
- $10 billion for state departments of transportation.
- $2 billion for airports.
- $2 billion for private motor coach.
- $1 billion for Amtrak.
PennDOT says the federal stimulus money solves a short-term cash crisis, enabling the department to fund existing projects and resume project contract bidding totaling $3.8 billion for 2020 and 2021.
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- The Turnpike toll increases approved in July went into effect on Jan. 3, boosting E-ZPass rates by 6% and cash rates by 45%.
- Amtrak has reduced the number of Keystone Service trips due to ridership dropping to one-fifth of pre-pandemic levels.
- A long-awaited Montgomery County highway extension project is expected to attract new economic opportunities in Norristown.
- Capital Area Transit and York’s RabbitTransit announced merger plans, creating the Susquehanna Regional Transportation Authority.
- The Morning Call reported that the Automated Speed Enforcement Program has processed nearly 192,000 violations since the program began eight months ago.