Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
First, the good news: Because of Act 89 of 2013, Pennsylvania has made significant headway in reducing the number of faulty bridges and repaving a significant portion of roads in the Commonwealth. That’s at least part of the reason that traffic fatalities last year were the lowest since the state began keeping statistics.
Now, the bad news: We’re losing ground, and staring at another impending transportation funding crisis that threatens to reverse the progress we’ve made the last six years.
But wait, you say… Act 89 was supposed to increase funding for transportation by $2.3 billion per year. Where’s that money going? There are three basic factors:
- Even though the state is gradually reducing the amount being siphoned out of the constitutionally protected Motor License Fund, the diverted amount still exceeds $700 million and will again in the next fiscal year. Since the passage of Act 89, the diverted amount totals more than $4 billion and represents the equivalent of 12 cents per gallon.
- Improving fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles are reducing the revenue raised by fuel taxes and license and registration fees, and inflation is increasing the cost of construction materials.
- The needs gap when Act 89 was passed was approaching $5 billion per year, more than twice the amount raised by the act.
APC’s Bob Latham explains the situation on this recent installment of Pennsylvania Newsmakers, hosted by Terry Madonna. To view the segment, follow this link.
Be of Good Cheer,
— The Wolff
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- PennDOT is doubling down on its campaign reminding people of the Oct. 1 deadline for obtaining a REAL ID driver’s license. Those who do not have one will be denied access to some federal facilities and airline flights unless they have a U.S. Passport.
- Fellow Coalition member Kevin Stewart of the Pa. Motor Truck Association was quoted in a news release about truck bottlenecks. Six of the country’s top 100 are in Pennsylvania.
- Motorists in Bucks and Montgomery counties who ignore Turnpike tolls will face a visit from Bucks County detectives as part of a crackdown program funded with a $327,000 grant from the Turnpike Commission.
- Another Coalition member, Turnpike CEO Mark Compton, was elected as first vice president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association and will serve as president next year.
- Somerset County Commissioners have hired a Washington lobbying firm to push for completion of Route 219.
- State Rep. Tom Mehaffie has introduced a bill that would enable local police to use radar to combat speeding. PA is the only state that prohibits local police from using radar.