Media Advisory – Langerholc to Discuss Alternative to PennDOT’s Bridge Tolling Initiative

Senate Transportation Committee Chair Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) held a news conference at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16, on the second floor Rotunda outside the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

He discussed and called for support of the DRIVE SMART Act, Delivering Reforms and Investments for Vehicle Efficiency and Supporting Motor carriers, Airports, Rails & trails and Transit agencies. The DRIVE SMART Act was unveiled on June 2 at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

A key focus will be how the DRIVE SMART Act provides an alternative to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) P3 bridge tolling initiative by enacting legislation to authorize the PennDOT to bond under the innovative federal financing program entitled Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE).

The news conference was streamed live at pasenategop.com and https://www.facebook.com/PASenateGOP.

Contact: Nolan Ritchie, nritchie@pasen.gov

Public hearing on reforms and investments to advance transportation innovations in Pennsylvania

Senate Transportation Committee

Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9 am

Southwestern PA Commission, Pittsburgh

Public hearing on reforms and investments to advance transportation innovations in Pennsylvania


9:00 a.m.                     Opening Remarks 

9:05 a.m.                     Panel 1

  • Honorable Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive | Testimony
  • Vincent Valdes, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission | Testimony
  • Karina Ricks, City of Pittsburgh | Testimony

Questions from Committee Members 

10:00 a.m.                  Panel 2

  • Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon University | Testimony
  • Zach Kahn, Tesla – Testimony
  • Ben Bear, Spin Scooters – Testimony
  • Çetin Meriçli, Locomation – Testimony
  • Mark Spada, Western Pennsylvanians for Passenger Rail – Testimony

Questions from Committee Members

11:25 a.m.                   Closing Remarks

Additional Testimony:

PennDOT – Testimony

Self Driving Coalition – Testimony

Langerholc Unveils an Innovative Plan Reforming and Investing in PA’s Multimodal Transportation System

(JOHNSTOWN) – State Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, held a press conference today at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

He announced the DRIVE SMART Act, Delivering Reforms and Investments for Vehicle Efficiency and Supporting Motor carriers, Airports, Rails and trails and Transit agencies.  The omnibus plan would provide reforms and investments for the Commonwealth’s multimodal transportation system.

“When the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced the nine candidate toll bridges across the state, there were concerns with the lack of transparency in the process,” Langerholc said. “The DRIVE SMART Act is my commitment to offering an alternative solution instead of a tacit approval to impose taxes, tolls or user fees on hardworking Pennsylvanians as we recover from the pandemic.” 

Additional information about the comprehensive and multi-faceted plan is available at www.SenatorLangerholc.com/drive-smart-act/.

“We have been working on this plan since I became chairman, but make no mistake, we did not do this alone. My colleagues were integral in the creation of this plan,” Langerholc said. “Because the essence of compromise is having spirited discussion and debate, I am speaking with stakeholders and asking the public to provide feedback.”

In the next couple of months, the Senate Transportation Committee will hold several hearings to collect feedback on the DRIVE SMART Act and other ideas to reform and invest in the Commonwealth’s multimodal transportation system. The public is encouraged to provide feedback on the DRIVE SMART Act online at www.SenatorLangerholc.com/drive-smart-act/.

 

CONTACT: Nolan Ritchie, nritchie@pasen.gov

Legislation to Stop PennDOT’s Bridge Tolling Plan Passes Senate Panel

Harrisburg – The Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35), advanced legislation today to reform the Public-Private Transportation Partnership (P3) statute and to void the PennDOT Pathways Major Bridge P3 Initiative.

“I support critical infrastructure improvements to improve safety, mobility and our economic recovery efforts,” said Senator Langerholc.  “Our answers to fix revenue problems cannot be merely met with new taxes, fees and tolls on the backs of Pennsylvania’s hardworking families and businesses.  I welcome a broader discussion to address the transportation funding challenges facing the Keystone State.”

Senate Bill 382 (Langerholc) increases transparency, public input and a proper checks and balances on P3s, particularly when PennDOT pursues a P3 project with user fees.

On November 12, 2020, the P3 Board, under PennDOT’s jurisdiction, supported an ambiguous proposal to impose user fees or tolls on major bridges throughout the interstate system.  This was the first time in the P3 Board’s history to consider a proposal with user fees.

The serious gaps in the P3 statute became clear when PennDOT finally announced the details of the proposal three months after the P3 Board meeting.  The P3 statute requires a detailed analysis prior to the meeting.

PennDOT will proceed with imposing tolls on the following nine bridges, unless the General Assembly passes Senate Bill 382:

Senate Bill 382 received a party-line vote in the Senate Transportation Committee, with all Democrats voting in favor of PennDOT’s bridge tolling efforts.  The legislation advances to the full Senate.