Acting Secretary Mike Carroll, along with Kurt Meyers, Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services, Meredith Biggica, Deputy Secretary for Multimodal, Chuck Zimmerman, Financial Management Director, Larry Shifflet, Deputy Secretary for Planning, and Nicole Tyler, Director of Equitable Transportation testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on the state and federal funds PennDOT is spending to improve our roads and bridges. Republicans also asked about Mass Transit spending and ways we can modernize our approach to programs and funding. Additionally, Republicans asked what PennDOT is doing to improve the customer experience.
• Pennsylvania’s Gas Tax is no longer a sustainable way to continue to fund our roads and bridges. In addition to the pandemic, resulting in more people working from home, more gas efficient vehicles and electric vehicles are reducing the consumption of gas and thereby providing less revenue to the Motor License Fund.
• House Republicans welcome PennDOT’s comments of working together and believe solutions will require out-of-the-box thinking in order to establish a viable long-term source of funding for the Motor License Fund.
• Mass Transit has noticed a 46.7% drop in ridership statewide since the pandemic. Secretary Carroll validated these numbers and agreed they will not return to pre-pandemic levels. The largest Mass Transit systems are no exception:
o SEPTA is down 46%
o Port Authority of Allegheny County down is 42%
o Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority down is 49%
• House Republicans were pleased to hear PennDOT is supportive of reviewing and changing how we fund Mass Transit and supports this effort.
• House Republicans have been leading the effort to move State Police funding out of the Motor License Fund and are pleased PennDOT also supports this ongoing initiative.
Rep. Kutz asks PennDOT how they plan on using Public Private Partnerships to fix roads and bridges.
Rep. Mustello asks PennDOT if they believe Mass Transit ridership will return to pre-pandemic levels and if PennDOT has plans to modernize Mass Transit funding and programs.
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