Governor Tom Wolf today reiterated his commitment to phase out Pennsylvania’s gas tax, which is becoming an unreliable source for funding Pennsylvania’s vast transportation network. To make this possible and to further address the state’s transportation funding needs, the governor has also signed an Executive Order establishing the Transportation Revenue Options Commission, which will develop comprehensive funding recommendations for Pennsylvania’s large and aging infrastructure.
“Our economy, our communities, and our future rely on a strong transportation system that supports our safety and growth. We have more than $9 billion in annual unmet needs across our state-maintained transportation system alone. At the same time, Pennsylvania is relying too much on outdated, unreliable funding methods, and the federal government hasn’t taken meaningful action in decades,” Gov. Wolf said. “Phasing out the burdensome gas tax, coupled with seeking long-term reliable funding solutions that will keep pace with our infrastructure needs, deserves a close examination. Forming this bipartisan commission will bring multiple, bipartisan voices to the table to ensure that we can examine reliable, sustainable revenue solutions to address both near-term and long-term funding needs.”
Pennsylvania has one of the largest state-owned transportation networks in the country, with nearly 40,000 miles of roads and over 25,400 bridges under its direct purview. PennDOT also oversees aviation, rail freight, public transportation, ports, pedestrian and bicycle programs.
In 2019, the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) identified major risks to transportation funding such as reduced fuel revenues, unpredictable federal funding, and legislative changes to reduce commitments.
PennDOT’s latest assessment places the annual gap of its needs in all modes and facilities at $9.3 billion, growing to an annual $14.5 billion gap by 2030.
Further, as more fuel-efficient cars and technologies are created, reliance on the gas tax for state revenue is less and less dependable. Any phase out of the gas tax will need to be coupled with new or replacement revenue.
The Transportation Revenue Options Commission is comprised of transportation, economic, and community stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, including majority and minority leaders from the House and Senate Transportation and Appropriations committees. PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian will serve as commission chair.
The commission will have its first meeting by March 25 and a report of commission activities and funding options will be submitted to the Governor before Aug. 1, 2021.
The following individuals were invited to join the commission, with additional representatives from transportation’s varied stakeholders to be invited before the first meeting:
“I am grateful to all the commission members for contributing their time and expertise to this critical issue,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We must work together to find sustainable, future-focused funding solutions that will keep Pennsylvanians moving.”
For more information about transportation funding in Pennsylvania, visit www.PennDOT.gov/funding.
Cambria, Cameron, Franklin, Lackawanna, Montour, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland counties are new to the quarantine for 2021
Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that eight counties have been added to Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2021 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine for this invasive pest is now at 34 counties.
“The Spotted Lanternfly is more than a pest in the literal sense,” said Redding. “It’s wreaking havoc for home and business owners, kids who just want to play outside, Pennsylvania agriculture and the economy of the state we all call home. Whether you think it’s your job or not, we need every Pennsylvanian to keep their eyes peeled for signs of this bad bug – to scrape every egg mass, squash every bug, and report every sighting. We need to unite in our hatred for this pest for our common love: Pennsylvania.”
The new eight counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation. Cambria, Cameron, Franklin, Lackawanna, Montour, Pike, Wayne, and Westmoreland are new to the quarantine for 2021.
“When we expand the quarantine, our goal is to slow the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly,” said Dr. Ruth Welliver, director of the department’s Bureau of Plant Industry. “And we have slowed it. Last spring we quarantined 12 counties with isolated infestations, and those counties have not been overrun because of the heightened awareness a quarantine brings. With continued aggressive treatment and monitoring, and an actively engaged community, we can help ensure families and businesses in these new counties aren’t inconvenienced by widespread infestation.”
Quick, aggressive treatment to newly identified populations of Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania has been funded through the Rapid Response Disaster Readiness line of Governor Wolf’s Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the past two years. The 2021-22 PA Farm Bill proposes another $3 million to combat Spotted Lanternfly.
New to Pennsylvania’s fight against the Spotted Lanternfly this Spring is Lucky, a female German Shepherd, trained as a puppy at PennVet’s Working Dog Center to detect Spotted Lanternfly eggs, often in places humans can’t access. Lucky joined the department in November 2020 and helps to inspect businesses like nurseries, greenhouses, vehicle fleets, and log yards. She is the first dog in the nation trained to detect Spotted Lanternfly.
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, online. Pennsylvanians who live inside the quarantine zone should also review and sign the Compliance Checklist for residents.
Since 2015, the department has received more than $34 million to combat Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania -- $20 million in federal funds and another $14 million in state investment. The department also awarded more than $260,000 in January for four priority research projects.
For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly. For more about Governor Tom Wolf’s PA Farm Bill and its investments in a sustainable agriculture industry visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.
You are a key stakeholder in transportation planning and PennDOT encourages you to share the following information with your audience!
The State Transportation Commission (STC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) are excited to announce the beginning of the 2023 12-Year Transportation Program Update Process.
The STC recently released the 2021 Transportation Performance Report. It contains information on Pennsylvania's transportation system performance over the last two years. We encourage you to read and share the report and then - Tell Us What YOU Think!
The Public Comment Period for the 2023 12-Year Program Update begins Monday, March 1, and continues through Wednesday, April 14, 2021. It includes a Transportation Survey and Online Public Forum with Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation as the keynote speaker.
Your feedback is important! We use it to inform the 12-Year Program, Pennsylvania's Long Range Transportation Plan, and the Freight Movement Plan.
Take the Survey!
Online Public Forum: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Attend the Forum!
Please use the online toolkit to access our messaging, graphics and other ready-to-use materials to start this important conversation with your key stakeholders, your staff, and members of the general public! Your participation is also encouraged.
Visit the Toolkit!
PennDOT will make all reasonable modifications to policies, programs, and documents to ensure that people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities. In accordance with Governor Tom Wolf's COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the Public Forum will be held online only.
To request assistance to participate in the survey or Public Forum, please contact PennDOT’s Program Center by emailing [email protected] or calling 717-783-2262 from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Requests for assistance to participate in the Public Forum should be made by March 15, 2021. If you have other questions or challenges, please contact PennDOT’s Bureau of Equal Opportunity to request help by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-800-468-4201; TTY (711).
District 10 (Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, and Jefferson Counties) wants your input on its performance during the recent storm.
Please note that all responses are anonymous, unless you choose to provide your contact information.
You can complete the survey here:
Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute today released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America.
“While everyone else sheltered in place in 2020, trucks kept rolling, delivering essential goods to communities large and small,” said CRST International President and CEO Hugh Ekberg. “Unfortunately, congestion continues to impact our operations and affect our drivers’ ability to deliver for America.”
The 2021 Top Truck Bottleneck List measures the level of truck-involved congestion at over 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on truck GPS data from over 1 million freight trucks 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 the U.S. DOT’s Freight Mobility Initiative. 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 third 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 rest of the Top 10 includes:
2. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
3. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
4. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
5. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
6. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
7. Chattanooga, Tennessee: I-75 at I-24
8. St. Louis: I-64/I-55 at I-44
9. Rye, New York: I-95 at I-287
10. San Bernardino, California: I-10 at I-15
ATRI’s analysis, which utilized data from 2020, found that while there were COVID-related impacts on traffic across the country as car drivers stayed at home, the year was not without severe congestion. Average truck speeds at a fourth of the bottlenecks on ATRI’s list were 45 MPH or less, reflecting both a return to pre-pandemic freight demand throughout the year and the impact of numerous roadway construction projects in 2020.
“For decades, ATA has been sounding the alarm about how the condition of our highways is contributing to congestion – which slows down commerce, contributes to pollution and reduces safety. ATRI’s bottleneck report highlights where our most critical issues are and should be a guide for policymakers at the state and federal level,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “The cost of doing nothing is always higher than the cost of fixing these problems and we cannot wait any longer to address this mounting crisis.”
There are seven Pennsylvania locations on the list up from six in 2020. There were five in 2019 and just two in 2018. You can view the seven PA locations here.
For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, please visit ATRI’s website at TruckingResearch.org.
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for commercial driver licenses and commercial learner’s permits will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
This will be the final extension for the following products’ expiration dates:
Customers with commercial products that are covered by the extension but have not yet been renewed are encouraged to renew their CDL products as soon as possible by March 31, 2021. No further extensions will be given on these products.
Expiration extension deadlines on non-commercial driver license, photo identification cards, learner’s permits and camera cards ended on August 31, 2020.
For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.
Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver's license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and schedule a driver’s exam. There are no additional fees for using online services.
PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.
Additional COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that its rest areas off Interstate 81 (Grantville) in Dauphin County will reopen on Monday, February 22, after being closed in October 2019 to reconstruct the facilities.
“We’re pleased to open these facilities to the traveling public,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “The improvements that we’ve made to this busy rest area location will help make people’s travels a little more comfortable.”
The improved facility includes 10 additional truck parking spaces, a tire filling station, a fenced pet relief area, a signalized bus drop off lane, and a PA State Police inspection lane.
Each new facility includes improved amenities and enhancements including new restrooms and an ADA-accessible family restroom with changing stations and toddler seats, ambulatory and ADA stalls in each rest room, touch-free faucets, hand dryers and flushometers. Additionally, upgraded vending machines and a water fountain with a bottle filling station have been installed at the facility.
For additional information about traveling through Pennsylvania, visit www.penndot.gov and click on “Travel in PA.”
Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
PennDOT has announced the bridge projects they have selected as targets to be funded by tolling.
I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Replacement Project (Berks County);
I-79 Widening, Bridges and Bridgeville Interchange Reconfiguration (Allegheny County);
I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges (Clarion County);
I-80 Nescopeck Creek Bridges (Luzerne County);
I-80 North Fork Bridges Project (Jefferson County);
I-80 Over Lehigh River Bridge Project (Luzerne and Carbon counties);
I-81 Susquehanna Project (Susquehanna County);
I-83 South Bridge Project (Dauphin County); and
I-95 Girard Point Bridge Improvement Project (Philadelphia County).
See the release from PennDOT here.
CAMP HILL, Pa. -- The Safety Management Council and the Truck Driving Championships Committee have decided to postpone the Truck Driving Championships again for 2021.
PMTA, as an organization, is focused on safety as one of its foundational pillars and could not, in good faith, move forward with an event that could potentially expose our truck drivers, volunteers and staff to COVID-19.
However, the association is continuing to plan for the 2022 Truck Driving Championships to be held in June at the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, PA.
The American Trucking Associations announced yesterday its plans to cancel the National Truck Driving Championships as well. They plan to hold the 2022 event in Indianapolis.
TYPE OF OPERATION: Transportation of on road diesel fuels, home heating fuels, propane, and kerosene.
EXTENT OF EXEMPTION: Requirement to comply with driver hour of service limitations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: February 17, 2021
TERMINATION DATE: February 28, 2021
Operators are required to have a copy of this waiver when exceeding their normal HOS.
See the full document here.
© 2021 Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association 910 Linda Lane • Camp Hill, PA 17011 • United States of AmericaPhone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434