Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
Just a few odds and ends to bring everyone up to date as the summer winds down…
As most of you probably know, a federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit filed by independent truckers against the PA Turnpike Commission and the subsidies it has been paying to support public transportation. There has been no definitive word on whether the plaintiffs will appeal again, but the stated reasons that the lawsuit was dismissed appear to be solid. Even if there is no further appeal, lawmakers face a heavy lift in addressing a $400 million decrease in the annual subsidy beginning in 2022.
State Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) will head a House task force charged with identifying solutions to the loss of that subsidy and other needs. Ms. White will meet with our Coalition next month.
SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel plans to retire when his current contract expires at the end of the year. While the SEPTA board has not taken action to replace him, there is considerable speculation that the board will choose PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards.
Finally, as this is being written, a House subcommittee is holding a hearing in Altoona to receive an update on efforts to increase rail service to and from Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
— The Wolff
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- Speculation abounds that PennDOT Secretary Richards will replace Jeff Knueppel as SEPTA general manager by the end of the year.
- While the ranking of 35th is nothing to boast about, the latest Reason Foundation report on the cost-effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s highway system does reveal significant improvement.
- Uber and Lyft say their days of cutthroat competition via lower prices may be ending.
- Speaking of ride-sharing, a couple of Penn doctoral students are examining how the services are changing various consumer habits.
- The Associated Press tallied $1.2 billion in infrastructure damage caused by storms and floods across 24 states during the first half of 2010.