State transportation funding studies continue
A commission established by Gov. Tom Corbett continues to seek ways to find up to $2.5 billion extra funding for the state's transportation needs.
The governor gave the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission until Aug. 1 to come up with proposals to generate $2 billion to $2.5 billion more to fix more roads and bridges and improve public transit and aviation. Pennsylvania is spending $6.3 billion on transportation this year.
Proposals discussed so far include eliminating safety inspections for new vehicles; increasing to eight years the period that driver's licenses are valid from four to cut down on administrative costs; and working with municipalities to reduce costs to maintain and operate traffic signals.
The commission also has discussed authorizing the creation of local tolling authorities that could impose tolls on local highways. The commission won't make recommendations on tolling specific routes.
"The (commission) is making great progress," PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said this morning in a statement.
A state study released last year said Pennsylvania needs another $3.5 billion a year to adequately address its transportation needs, but PennDOT spokesman Steve Chizmar said the commission appointed in April is "looking for short-term solutions to get to $2.5 billion and then work from there."
The commission has met three times since being created; two additional meetings are planned before Aug. 1. For more information, go to www.tfac.pa.gov/.