Harrisburg –Senate Transportation Committee Chair Kim Ward (R-39) announced today that she will introduce legislation in the near future to give counties more flexibility to support public transportation in the face of funding challenges at the state level.
Under current law, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is required to provide $450 million in annual transfer payments to support the operating and capital expenditures of public transportation across the Commonwealth. (From 2023-2057, the transfer payments drop to $50 million annually.) PTC has accumulated $6 billion in debt as a result of these transfer payments.
To fund these mandatory contributions, PTC has increased tolls every year since 2009. Further, pending litigation against PTC is delaying these transfer payments, creating uncertainty for public transportation projects and ultimately mobility, economic competitiveness, and quality of life.
“This approach is clearly unsustainable,” Ward said. “My legislation will broaden authority and responsibility for counties to support public transportation in their regions. This legislation will be developed with input from the Working Group that I recently announced to help address the complex issues facing our interconnected transportation system.”
The legislation will not mandate county action, Ward said. It will provide counties with options to help fund vital transportation projects in their communities. The Working Group will help develop a menu of options for counties to use that will require legislative action by the General Assembly.
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