FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
State Rep. Steve Santarsiero
Democratic Policy Committee examines Pa.’s transportation funding shortfall
YARDLEY, July 19 – The House Democratic Policy Committee heard from transportation experts and local officials regarding the challenges in repairing and replacing the Commonwealth’s ailing transit system at a public hearing in Yardley today, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
The hearing was requested and co-chaired by state Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-Bucks, and centered on considering the needed improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure, as well as potential solutions for the looming funding crisis.
The Commonwealth leads the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges, with over 5,500, including several in southeastern Pennsylvania. A recent State Transportation Advisory Committee funding study identified more than $3.5 billion in annual unmet needs that will only grow overtime.
“Pennsylvania’s failing transportation infrastructure consistently ranks as the highest concern among residents, yet the governor has dismissed those concerns and the advice provided by his own Transportation Funding Advisory Commission,” Sturla said. “Representative Santarsiero has been at the forefront of developing solutions for our road, bridge and public transit woes and continues to be a leader on this issue.”
Santarsiero added, “The real problem is our critical funding problem, and that hasn't been addressed yet. We need the governor to come out with a proposal. Unless he signals his support for some plan, it's not going to move."
Those testifying at the hearing included: Joe McAtee, executive vice president and COO, Urban Engineers Inc.; Bill Rickett, executive director, TMA Bucks; Jeffrey Knueppel, chief engineer, SEPTA; Frank Bankard, business representative, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542; and George Wolff, region leader, Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition.
For more information about the Policy Committee or for hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.