PMTA will host its Driver of the Year Banquet tonight, March 22, at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill. The Awards Ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook beginning at 6 p.m.
You can access that here: https://www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaMotorTruckAssociation
The 2023 Public Comment Period for the update of the 12-Year Program (TYP) opened March 1 and the Transportation Survey is available until Sunday, April 30, 2023.
In addition to the Survey, PennDOT will also host an Online Public Forum on Wednesday, April 12, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM, featuring a presentation from PennDOT leadership and members of the STC, followed by a Q&A session.
As the season turns to spring, the annual renewal of apportioned registration heats up along with the temperature. As always, the deadline in Pennsylvania for renewal is May 31, but it is to your advantage to renew sooner rather than later to ensure that your paperwork can be processed before the deadline. PMTA can help you with this process. If you need assistance, please contact us.
If coming to PMTA for your apportioned renewal, please be aware of the following:
Although little has changed with the process for now, there are several changes occurring in Pennsylvania with apportioned registration that members should be aware of, specifically related to new accounts.
First, due to a bill signed into law last year, which was supported by PMTA, PennDOT has begun providing rolling deadlines for apportioned registration. The result is that, in the future, not all apportioned registration renewals will be due on May 31. For the time being, this only affects NEW accounts. As new apportioned registration accounts are set up, applicants’ renewal deadlines will be one year from the point of registration.
Second, carriers should be aware that PennDOT has been strictly enforcing requirements related to residency when setting up new apportioned accounts in order to prevent incidences of fraud in the industry. These verification requirements have been delaying the process of setting up an account for many applicants, often by several days. PMTA has been working with PennDOT on this process, but delays remain.
No matter where an applicant sets up a new apportioned account – whether at PennDOT, PMTA, or another agent – it is necessary to provide three additional forms of identification to establish proof of residency, each of which is verified and approved by PennDOT.
If the applicant is a business, they must provide verification that the business is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State (a copy of the business’s corporate documents) in addition to at least three of the following:
If the applicant is an individual, at least three of the following must be provided:
Applicants should be aware that additional information may be requested to meet the satisfaction of PennDOT.
On Tuesday, March 7, Governor Josh Shapiro delivered his first budget address, outlining his proposal for 2023-24 state spending and setting the stage for legislative debate in the coming months. The annual budget address is an opportunity to hear from the governor what his priorities and policy initiatives are for the coming year. The event is particularly important for a new governor, as it is his first opportunity to publicly announce the administration’s plans as it transitions from campaigning to governing.
Overall, Governor Shapiro’s proposal would increase spending 8% over last year to $44.5 billion. There are several elements of the proposed budget that are of interest to the trucking industry.
Motor License Fund
Because the trucking industry pays almost 40% of the highway and bridge taxes in Pennsylvania, PMTA supports ensuring that these funds are spent in the most efficient and effective way to benefit the commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure. As a result, PMTA has long supported ending the diversion of Motor License Fund revenue to the PA State Police, while still ensuring that our partners in law enforcement receive the support that they need from other sources.
The issue has been debated in Harrisburg for many years. The 2022-23 budget reduced the State Police allocation from the Motor License Fund by $175 million to $500 million, with further reductions anticipated over time. However, Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget addresses this issue in a new way.
The budget proposal would create a new Public Safety and Protection Fund to reduce the State Police’s reliance on the Motor License Fund by $100 million per year until 2027-28, when Motor License Fund commitments would reach $0. Other sources for State Police funding in the Public Safety and Protection Fund would be directed from the motor vehicle sales tax and tobacco and liquor taxes, in addition to other smaller fund transfers.
As proposed, the resulting Motor License Fund revenues over the next five years will provide the full matching requirements for additional federal funding for highways and bridges made available by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The Governor has not proposed changes to state diesel or gas tax rates.
State Police Funding
The creation of the roughly $1 billion Public Safety and Protection Fund, as proposed, would fund four new trooper cadet classes in the coming year to train 384 new troopers. The plan would also allocate $20 million for State Police vehicle and helicopter replacements and equipment upgrades.
Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget anticipates legalization of adult-use cannabis with a 20% wholesale tax imposed on it. As proposed, this would generate $28 million in the first year, increasing to $250 million by 2027-28. See PMTA’s article and link to complete ATRI’s survey on marijuana legalization here.
Corporate Net Income Tax
The proposed budget continues the step-down enacted in 2022 of the Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax from 9.99% to 4.99% by 2031 (which began in 2023 with a reduction to 8.99%). Though Shapiro expressed support for accelerating the reduction of the CNI during the campaign, an acceleration was not proposed in this budget. The governor instead stated his willingness to work with the legislature on this.
The governor’s proposal calls for increased funding for existing workforce development programs, including career and technical education and apprenticeships through the Department of Labor and Industry. It also calls for two new programs, including $3 million for Foundations in Industry through the Department of Community and Economic Development to increase apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs and $3.5 million for the Schools-to-Work program to help the Department of Labor and Industry support partnerships between career and technical education students and employers.
Labor Law Compliance Resources
The proposed budget increases Department of Labor and Industry funding by $1.28 million to hire additional labor law compliance investigators to investigate more cases, permit more strategic enforcement of current labor laws, and provide additional education on these issues to businesses.
The Governor’s proposed budget will be debated by the legislature over the coming months, with the state senate and house Appropriations Committees each scheduling hearings to consider the agency’s budgets. PMTA will monitor these discussions for impacts to the trucking industry. The state budget must be completed and signed by the Governor by midnight on June 30.
Washington, D.C. – The American Transportation Research Institute today issued a request for motor carriers to participate in ATRI’s annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.
ATRI’s 15thannual Operational Costs of Trucking is one of the most used and most comprehensive benchmarking tools in the trucking industry. ATRI confidentially collects costs and operational data directly from trucking fleets and owner-operators, and its analysis reveals key trends for fleets of each sector, size, and region.
The fleet metrics requested by ATRI include driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums, and equipment lease or purchase payments. Carriers and owner-operators are asked to provide full-year 2022 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data through an easy-to-use online data entry form or email submission. By carrier request, this year’s report includes valuable new efficiency metrics such as miles between breakdowns.
Participating motor carriers will once again receive a customized report that compares their fleet’s costs and operations to peer carriers of the same sector and size, as well as an advance copy of the full report.
“ATRI’s Ops Costs report is indispensable for benchmarking our operations; it confirms what we are doing well and notes where we can achieve additional cost savings,” said James Burg, James Burg Trucking Company President and CEO.“ And the customized peer-group assessment is invaluable to our benchmarking activities.”
For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, April 28. ATRI’s data collection form is available online here. All confidential information is protected, and it is published only in anonymized, aggregate form.
ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
On March 1, the Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 254, a bill sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw and supported by PMTA that would suspend the enforcement of California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks through MY26. The bill also protects businesses from legal challenge by third parties if they are complying with EPA standards during the suspension.
This bill is a continuation of PMTA’s efforts, in cooperation with legislative allies, to address concerns raised by members in late 2021 about steep and unexpected cost increases in 2022 truck orders. After making inquiries, PMTA determined that the increases were the result of a regulation promulgated nearly 20 years ago by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Projection (DEP), which adopted CARB’s emissions standards by reference for diesel-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. As a result, any time CARB revises its rules, Pennsylvania’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Emission Control Program automatically updates to adopt the California rules.
As a result, no action is needed on the part of Pennsylvania to adopt CARB requirements going into effect for heavy-duty trucks. The cost increase for 2022 trucks sold in Pennsylvania was the result of the significant extension of warranty requirements for new trucks in the CARB regulations. Previously, the warranty period for class 4 through 8 trucks was five years, 100,000 miles or 3,000 operation hours, whichever came first. In 2022, the five-year limit was unchanged under CARB, but the required warranty was extended to:
The extension of these warranty requirements resulted in significant increases in the cost of new trucks.
In response to PMTA’s members’ concerns about these cost increases that have no beneficial impact on the environment, DEP issued a notice in November 2021 that the agency would not be enforcing CARB requirements in PA until at least July 31, 2023.
However, many PMTA members remained concerned that DEP’s notice was insufficient to prevent legal challenges for companies for not complying with CARB. Therefore, PMTA pursued a legislative solution that would give the suspension the force of law. Two bills passed their respective chambers last year but were not considered in the other chamber before the legislative session expired: HB 2075, sponsored by state Rep. Jerry Knowles, and SB 1030, sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw.
PMTA supports the overall repeal of the California air pollution control standards in Pennsylvania to prevent further costly emissions mandates from affecting the industry. However, with DEP’s CARB suspension set to expire July 31, 2023, action is urgently needed now to provide certainty for the industry in Pennsylvania and control the cost of new trucks for businesses in the state this year.
SB 254 is a reintroduction of Sen. Yaw’s bill that passed the Senate last year. This bill, which suspends CARB through MY26, will now be considered by the PA House of Representatives. PMTA members are urged to contact their state House member to support SB 254.
Butler, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Lawrence, and Somerset counties are new to the quarantine for 2023
Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that six counties have been added to Pennsylvania's spotted lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2023 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine for this invasive pest now includes 51 counties.
"Spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that is disruptive and damaging to our agriculture commodities and a nuisance pest for all Pennsylvanians," said Redding. "Through collective and intentional efforts, including instituting quarantine zones, we continue to slow the spread of this insect, and I call on all Pennsylvanians to assist. This time of year, before the eggs hatch in spring, do your part to help manage the pest by scraping egg masses and reporting where they are found. Each egg mass destroyed eliminates 30-50 lanternflies before they have an opportunity to hatch and spread."
Spotted lanternflies have not been found throughout the entirety of each of the new six counties, but rather have been found only in a few municipalities. Butler, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Lawrence, and Somerset counties are new to the quarantine for 2023.
Businesses that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to obtain a spotted lanternfly permit. Homeowners with questions about treatment are encouraged to contact their local Penn State Extension office or learn about management, including approved sprays, at their website. Pennsylvanians who live inside the quarantine zone should also review and sign the Compliance Checklist for residents.
"The purpose of expanding the quarantine is to raise awareness and slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly," said Dr. Ruth Welliver, director of the department's Bureau of Plant Industry. "Thanks to an actively engaged community, and aggressive treatment and monitoring by the Department of Agriculture and our partners, we are limiting the spread and impact of this pest across the Commonwealth and are assisting our commodity growers in protecting their crops."
The department also announced opportunities for funding to help counties slow the spread of spotted lanternfly. Through the PA Farm Bill's Rapid Response and Disaster Preparedness Fund, $150,000 will be available for grants for county conservation districts in Pennsylvania. The department will award grants of up to $25,000 to assist conservation districts with activities designed to enhance spotted lanternfly quarantine compliance by businesses and residents of their county. The application period opens on March 5, 2023, and closes on Friday, April 7, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Learn more about this grant opportunity in the PA Bulletin on March 4, 2023.
Since 2015, the department has received more than $53 million to combat spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania – $32 million in federal funds and another $21 million in state investment.
For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly. For more about the PA Farm Bill and its investments in a sustainable agriculture industry visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.
To report a sighting of spotted lanternfly, visit https://extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternflyOpens In A New Window.
Last week, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) launched a new survey seeking motor carrier input on the impact of legalizing marijuana on the trucking industry’s workforce. The survey is a follow-up to ATRI’s 2019 Marijuana Legalization and Impaired Driving: Solutions for Protecting our Roadways.
Data gathering on the issue of marijuana impairment on the roads and in the industry is increasingly important as more states move to legalize recreational marijuana. Nationally, there are 21 states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. The latest states – Vermont and New York, which were added in late 2022 – round out a list of others in the northeast, including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, DC. A legalization bill that passed last year in Delaware was vetoed by Governor John Carney.
After medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2016, lawmakers debated legalizing recreational cannabis for several years, and Governor Josh Shapiro has been a long-time proponent of recreational marijuana legalization, so it is likely that this issue will be considered soon in Pennsylvania.
Last year, several hearings were held on a bipartisan bill that would set a minimum age of 21 for marijuana consumption and expunge non-violent marijuana crime convictions. The existing medical marijuana program would become the basis for distribution through licenses, and limited home growing would be permitted for medical marijuana patients. Micro-cultivation licenses would be issued to farmers and craft growers.
Last year, two studies on the relationship between marijuana legalization and crash rates found that injury and fatal crash rates rose 6% and 4%, respectively, in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington after marijuana was legalized in these states compared to other western states. According to insurance records, collision claims also increased similarly.
As for the impact on truck drivers, where any use of marijuana is prohibited, legalization (whether medicinal or recreational) is presenting a challenge for the industry. Over the course of the 3-year period of testing through the clearinghouse, marijuana has been the most common positive drug result. Of 171,957 substances identified in violations, 95,076 or 55% were positive marijuana tests. It is concerning that, of 113,995 drivers in prohibited status in the clearinghouse due to a positive drug test, 86,500 of them have not started the return-to-duty process. In an industry with a driver shortage of 78,000, it is clear that marijuana use is affecting trucking’s workforce.
Legalization affects the trucking industry in several ways, including the drivers trucks encounter on the roads around them as well as the ability to recruit and retain truck drivers.
For legalization updates in Pennsylvania, stay tuned or contact your state House or Senate member.
To have your say on the impact of marijuana legalization on the trucking industry’s workforce, please complete ATRI’s survey. The results of this survey may be used by PMTA to advocate in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly on this issue.
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Washington, D.C. – The American Transportation Research Institute today released its 12th annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America.
The 2023 Top Truck Bottleneck List measures the level of truck-involved congestion at over 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on an extensive database of freight truck GPS data, uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. ATRI’s truck GPS data is also used to support numerous state and federal freight mobility initiatives. The bottleneck locations detailed in this latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations, although ATRI continuously monitors more than 300 freight-critical locations.
For the fifth year in a row, the intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey is once again the Number One freight bottleneck in the country. The remaining Top 10 bottlenecks include:
2. Chicago: I-294 at I-290/I-88
3. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
4. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
5. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
6. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
7. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
8. Los Angeles: I-710 at I-105
9. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
10. San Bernardino, California: I-10 at I-15
ATRI’s analysis, which utilized data from 2022, found traffic conditions continue to deteriorate from recent years as more Americans returned to work post-pandemic. Consequently, supply chain bottlenecks occurred throughout the country. Average rush hour truck speeds were 36.3 MPH, down more than six percent from the previous year. Among the top-10 locations, average rush hour truck speeds were less than 30 MPH.
“The past year-plus has shone a spotlight on our supply chains, and how congestion and other pressures can hurt the American economy and consumers,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATRI’s bottleneck report highlights the areas of our transportation network in need of investment so we can get goods and people moving. The cost of doing nothing is felt in needless delays, wasted fuel and time.”
This year, four of the top 100 bottlenecks are located in the state of Pennsylvania and all of them are in Philadelphia.
#29 Philadelphia, PA: I-76 at I-676#38 Philadelphia, PA: I-76 at US 1#44 Philadelphia, PA: I-476 at I-95#80 Philadelphia, PA: I-76 at I-476
For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, please visit ATRI's website. ATRI is also providing animations created with truck GPS data for select bottleneck locations, all available on the website.
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