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.

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