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Transportation Infrastructure

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BUSINESS
November 14, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a retrospective look at 2015, state Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards touted efforts to improve efficiency and customer service, but said Pennsylvania continued to face funding that fell shy of the amount needed to fully maintain the state's transportation infrastructure. "We are far short of everything we'd like to do," said Richards, a former Montgomery County commissioner. The state has 598 construction contracts worth $2.4 billion this year, she said, and made pavement improvements to 6,077 highway miles.
NEWS
August 13, 2007 | By David Weinstein
Transportation infrastructure discussions aren't sexy - they're policy talk, not pillow talk. A new school or a good local grant? Those are politically sexy. Voters line up behind them. Transportation infrastructure, on the other hand, is boring. It's difficult to say and to explain. It's maintenance and repair, like on your home. Like improved plumbing or new duct work. It's the roof and the windows. It's expensive. Boy, is it expensive. But sexy? Nope. So New Jersey has a political dilemma.
NEWS
February 19, 2007 | By TOM CARAMANICO
GOV. RENDELL'S recent announcement that he wanted to explore the possibility of selling or leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike has kick-started a fascinating conversation across the commonwealth. The governor's stated goal is to raise revenues that would be used to complete desperately needed transportation projects. We applaud the governor for "Thinking Outside the Box" - in fact, that was the title of a report that we at the CEO Council for Growth issued last spring on the potential of public-private partnerships as a new way to address transportation needs.
NEWS
February 13, 2013
Is Gov. Corbett's plan to raise more than $5 billion for transportation infrastructure a tax hike? The short answer is yes. But the governor's proposal takes pains to make short answers difficult. As Corbett's own task force and a broad spectrum of interest groups agree, he faces a massive and mounting need to pay for work on roads, bridges, and mass transit systems. But given the governor's political alignment and the formal antitax pledge he and many other Republicans have taken, he faces repercussions for any tax increase.
NEWS
November 26, 2012
Singer takes partisan positions Stephanie Singer ("Commission must stay on track," Tuesday) indicates her removal as chairwoman of the City Commission was the result of a takeover by the state Republican Party. In point of fact, her removal was bipartisan. Her letter to the editor is the product of a mind-set completely incompatible with her position as a commissioner. For example, she characterizes her removal as bad news for Democrats. Apparently, she does not feel it is necessary to give even the appearance of acting on behalf of all voters.
NEWS
November 12, 2007 | By Matthew J. Brouillette and Leonard Gilroy
Pennsylvania lawmakers should reconsider the money they left on the table earlier this year after rejecting Gov. Rendell's initial plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private-sector partner. Such an agreement could generate billions of dollars needed for transportation infrastructure and transit systems without raising taxes, adding tolls, or incurring more taxpayer debt. Amid increasing doubts about the viability of Act 44 of 2007 - the law that permitted the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to raise money by putting tolls on Interstate 80 - the governor will soon announce a short list of teams that will make multi-billion-dollar bids for a potential turnpike lease.
NEWS
October 27, 2012 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia region faces a future of potholes, closed bridges, and reduced public transit unless government leaders raise much more money through tolls, fares, fees, or taxes, the region's planning agency said Thursday. The costs of maintaining and improving area roads, bridges, and transit far outstrip the money now available, said a report issued by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The nine-county region spends about $1.4 billion a year on highway, bridge, and transit projects, while the annual need is about $2.5 billion, DVRPC planners said.
NEWS
June 25, 2013
By John A. Fry The United States is witnessing something that seemed next to impossible not long ago - the rebirth of its urban centers. Nowhere is this seismic shift more prevalent than along the 450 miles stretching from Washington to Boston, otherwise known as the Northeast Corridor. Indeed, this area is quickly becoming the nation's epicenter of high-quality urban living. This transformation is being driven by a powerful combination of demographic and social trends. Key among them is the millennial generation's strong preference for working, living, learning, and socializing in urban environments.
NEWS
November 23, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - Wild weather is taking a toll on roads, airports, railways and transit systems across the country. That's leaving states and cities searching for ways to brace for more catastrophes like Superstorm Sandy that are straining the nation's transportation lifelines beyond what their builders imagined. Despite their concerns about intense rain, historic floods and record heat waves, some transportation planners find it too politically sensitive to say aloud a source of their weather worries: climate change.
NEWS
March 13, 2006
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT Pennsylvania's transportation needs don't usually occur until SEPTA cries out that it's in financial trouble. Again. But last week, the CEO Council for Growth, comprising 55 executives and affiliated with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, released a study that says the private sector could build and expand highways, bridges and rail lines, and ease the government's costs for such projects. The council is seeking legislation from Harrisburg. But no one has taken the bait - yet. Called "Thinking Outside the Box: Addressing Greater Philadelphia's Transportation Investment Needs Through Public-Private Partnerships," the study says the partnerships could close the "regional investment gap" and help "deliver, operate, maintain and, in some cases, even finance highway and transit infrastructure.
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NEWS
July 1, 2016
At some point during the early-morning hours Tuesday, Gov. Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto walked into a Statehouse hallway for a public hug on a $34.8 billion budget deal that wasn't really a deal, because the hug was missing Senate President Steve Sweeney - as well as a requisite dose of fiscal sense. Christie and Prieto (D., Hudson) agreed to raise New Jersey's gas tax from the nation's second-lowest, 14.5 cents a gallon, to its seventh-highest, 37.5 cents. That would raise $16 billion over the next eight years to support badly needed road, bridge, and mass transit repairs.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a retrospective look at 2015, state Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards touted efforts to improve efficiency and customer service, but said Pennsylvania continued to face funding that fell shy of the amount needed to fully maintain the state's transportation infrastructure. "We are far short of everything we'd like to do," said Richards, a former Montgomery County commissioner. The state has 598 construction contracts worth $2.4 billion this year, she said, and made pavement improvements to 6,077 highway miles.
NEWS
November 10, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The fact that there's this 'crisis' is ridiculous. It's a media-created crisis. - Gov. Christie The governor's comment on the condition of New Jersey's destitute Transportation Trust Fund suggests he is either delusional or so caught up in his presidential campaign that he is ignoring problems that deserve attention in his state. Christie, of course, isn't the only one to let personal politics get in the way. Democratic legislators conveniently suspended discussion of a gas-tax hike to replenish the fund while they were running for reelection.
NEWS
November 7, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Two days after expanding their majority in the Assembly, New Jersey Democrats on Thursday claimed a mandate to push a "middle-class agenda" that would fund transportation infrastructure, pensions for public employees, and schools. Leaders of both parties jousted over what fueled the election results: Gov. Christie's failed policies, in the words of Democrats, or special-interest money attacking GOP candidates, said Republicans. But with the election and a months-long policy-making hiatus behind them, lawmakers Thursday moved their focus to the challenges facing the state.
NEWS
September 16, 2015
THE EUPHORIA over the firing of general manager Ruben Amaro seems to suggest that he is the lone culprit for the Phillies downfall. Not so fast! While no one will ever mistake Ruben Amaro for Branch Rickey, and he certainly deserves some of the blame, he might be taking too much heat for the Phillies downfall. It was management that forced him to sign Utley, Howard and Rollins to long-term deals. By the way, no one complained at the time because these players were all performing well.
NEWS
February 23, 2015
ISSUE | ELECTIONS Open primaries, better democracy The need for a more fair and open political process expressed by Phil Goldsmith is felt by the many independent voters who are locked out of primary elections, and independent and third-party candidates who struggle to even make it onto the ballot ("Clean politics requires vigilance," Feb. 15). Although many voters seem unable to break from the two-party mind-set, the founders never would have accepted the decline of our electoral system into a bickering and stagnant two-party duopoly.
NEWS
September 26, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Pressure is ramping up on Gov. Christie and the Legislature to develop a long-term plan to shore up New Jersey's depleted transportation fund. For decades, the state has borrowed money to finance road and bridge repairs, instead of finding new revenue to pay for maintenance and upgrades. Now, that policy has resulted in a crisis: All revenue from the state gasoline tax is devoted to more than $1 billion in debt service, and the Transportation Trust Fund won't have enough money to last through fiscal year 2016, which begins in July.
NEWS
November 20, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - After months of debate, the state House failed to pass legislation Monday night that would have provided $2.3 billion to complete long-overdue repairs to the state's aging transportation infrastructure. In a stunning 103-98 vote that teetered between passage and defeat until the last moment of the roll call, lawmakers shot down an amendment to fix thousands of substandard bridges, repave hundreds of miles of crumbling roads, and pump hundreds of millions into modernizing mass transit systems across the state.
NEWS
June 25, 2013
By John A. Fry The United States is witnessing something that seemed next to impossible not long ago - the rebirth of its urban centers. Nowhere is this seismic shift more prevalent than along the 450 miles stretching from Washington to Boston, otherwise known as the Northeast Corridor. Indeed, this area is quickly becoming the nation's epicenter of high-quality urban living. This transformation is being driven by a powerful combination of demographic and social trends. Key among them is the millennial generation's strong preference for working, living, learning, and socializing in urban environments.
NEWS
June 7, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis and Megan Rogers, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - The state Senate approved a $2.5 billion transportation-funding bill Wednesday, aimed at repairing thousands of aging bridges and miles of roads while pumping more money into transit, setting the stage for a fight over the bill's fate in the House. The plan, championed by Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R., Montgomery), ups the ante on the $1.8 billion proposal Gov. Corbett unveiled in February to address the state's infrastructure problems. Rafferty's bill, was approved on a 45-5 vote, would increase driver's license and vehicle-registration fees, and put a hefty surcharge on speeders and others who violate traffic laws.
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