Pennsylvania Approves Transportation Plan

Pennsylvania will increase its state gasoline tax and use the additional revenue to pay for a $2.3 billion transportation program that includes funding of rail passenger operations

The bulk of the program will go toward highway construction, but some funds will be used directed to the Port Authority of Allegheny County to stave off threatened rail and bus service cutbacks.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia will receive $340 million per year, which will prevent severe service cuts that agency projected for Philadelphia rail, light rail and bus services.

SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey identified one of SEPTA’s top capital funding needs was the rehabilitation of rail bridges on the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail line.

Funding also will be directed toward Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa.

A revamped formula will result in increase in the state gasoline tax of 9.5 cents per gallon on Jan. 1, 2014. Another 9.7 cents will be added in 2015 and at least 8 cents more is expected in 2017.

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