September 29, 2014 |
Smartphones are expensive to own, but the powerful, often free, apps they carry around can make up for some of that expense. These sites offer guides to useful money-saving apps. Budgeting apps are first-off. Everything Zoomer, a site that says it's for the "45-plus demographic," recently posted this list of recommended personal-finance apps. It notes that most banks and other financial institutions now provide apps for tracking your accounts, finding ATMs, and so forth. Many save you a trip to the bank by allowing deposits by snapping photos of checks.
August 14, 2014 |
Construction is to start late next month or in early October on the long-awaited direct connection between Interstate 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, after the award of a $142.9 million contract to a Bucks County firm. PKF-Mark III Inc., of Newtown, won the contract from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to build the first section of the $420 million Stage 1 of the new interchange that will finally provide an unbroken I-95 between Maine and Florida. For decades, I-95 has been incomplete in New Jersey near Trenton.
February 23, 2014
Risky travel mix in bad weather The tractor-trailer versus passenger-car safety debate along the Pennsylvania Turnpike was settled the other week in Bensalem ("Massive pileups strangle turnpike," Feb. 15). In the Valentine's Day crash, there were numerous injuries and dozens of vehicles were damaged, many total write-offs. The eastbound lanes were closed for hours, with untold losses of toll revenue. Since several tractor-trailers jackknifed across the icy highway in the pileup, consider the economics for car owners: Their tolls are far larger in total than those paid by tractor-trailer drivers, and part of the toll price should be a safe ride.
December 5, 2013
Perhaps it would take a naïf to expect Pennsylvania's legislators to pass a transportation bill just because it's, you know, their job. And there aren't many innocents left in Harrisburg. So to get the bill passed, the legislature revived its reviled tradition of allowing its members to distribute some of the spoils, a practice previously known by the charming term "walking-around money. " Tens of millions of dollars a year was apparently the price the rest of us paid to persuade some of our already well-compensated representatives to fund work on roads, bridges, and mass-transit systems - that is, to keep "walking around" from becoming the commonwealth's last safe mode of transportation.
April 25, 2013
By Bernard L. Weinstein America's highways and bridges are in desperate need of repair. According to the National Transportation Research Group, 33 percent of the nation's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and 26 percent of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The estimated cost of bringing this infrastructure up to standards exceeds $3 trillion. At the same time, revenues from the federal gasoline tax - currently 18.4 cents per gallon and the primary federal source of highway funding - have been declining as miles driven have plateaued while cars and light trucks have become more fuel-efficient.
March 21, 2012 |
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission released a report last week on the feasibility of an all-electronic tolling system. I'd like to elaborate on what this change would and would not mean. A preliminary analysis projected that turnpike tolls for drivers who don't use E-ZPass may have to be set as much as 50 percent higher than the prevailing cash rates if the conversion to an all-electronic system proceeds. It must be emphasized, however, that this is only an early estimate, and that it will take at least five years to convert to all-electronic tolling.
March 21, 2012 |
NEW YORK - U.S. solar developers are luring cash at record rates from investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Google and KKR by offering returns on projects four times those available for Treasury securities. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., together with the biggest Internet search company, private equity companies, and insurers MetLife Inc. and John Hancock Life Insurance Co., poured more than $500 million into renewable energy in the last year. That's the most ever for companies outside the club of banks and specialist lenders that traditionally back solar energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.
November 29, 2011 |
New Jersey Turnpike revenue for the year through October was $47.1 million below forecasts, Bloomberg News reported. It said the turnpike authority collected $934 million in the first 10 months of 2011. Officials said, according to Bloomberg, that bad weather and high gasoline prices contributed to reduced use of toll roads by motorists. - Inquirer staff
September 18, 2011 |
Struggling to pay for roads, bridges, and transit, Pennsylvania and New Jersey increasingly are tapping their turnpike drivers. Rather than rely on traditional sources such as higher gas taxes or motor-vehicle fees, both states are raising tolls to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to non-toll-road projects. Some transportation and environmental organizations have cried foul, arguing that the burden for statewide transportation costs should not rest so heavily on the users of just one or two arteries.
July 6, 2011
The dizzying variation in toll charges levied on motorists whose cars all seem to carry the same E-ZPass transponder is becoming more than an annoyance. It's evolving into a significant consumer-fairness issue that is getting worse as some of the 24 agencies that issue E-ZPasses alter their pricing schemes to favor the motorists with their devices. It's simply unfair when cars entering the same E-ZPass lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike or to cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge are charged different fees.