Senator Rafferty Unveils Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R-44) today was joined by Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch and the three other chairmen of the Senate and House Transportation Committees to unveil his comprehensive proposal to fund Pennsylvania's transportation needs.
Rafferty said the funding proposal, "The Bridge to Pennsylvania's Future," will increase Pennsylvania's annual transportation investment by $2.5 billion. It follows the major recommendations made by the Governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.
"Pennsylvania is at a crossroads and we must take action now," Rafferty said. "Our roads and bridges continue to crumble, our mass transit systems lack the funds needed to meet continued demand, and our railways, airports and ports struggle to be economic generators for the 21st Century. We simply cannot continue to ignore these pressing needs, which are directly related to public safety and economic development."
Rafferty said increased funding for vital transportation projects is badly needed, noting that Pennsylvania has more structurally deficient bridges – nearly 4,400 – than any other state in the nation, and 23 percent of its 44,000 miles of state-owned roads are in poor condition.
The plan will raise the needed revenue through a number of sources including adjusting outdated vehicle and driver fees for inflation, surcharging fines for drivers who violate traffic laws, uncapping the Oil Company Franchise Tax over three years, and achieving significant cost savings by modernizing many PennDOT services.
"The Bridge to Pennsylvania's Future" provides a fair, strategic approach to meeting Pennsylvania's transportation funding needs. All revenue generated will be dedicated specifically to transportation projects in the Commonwealth, creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Maintaining a safe and reliable transportation network is a core function of state government and necessary to a strong economy," Rafferty said. "This funding proposal is an investment not only in our transportation infrastructure but in our state's future."