On Feb. 20, I was pleased to host a hearing of the House Democratic Policy Committee at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel on the vital issue of transportation funding.
Fourteen of my colleagues from around the state visited our district to hear regional leaders on the issue speak and answer questions on funding needs and the future of Pittsburgh’s and the state’s transportation network.
I requested a hearing on this topic because every Pennsylvania resident needs reliable transportation, and safe, modern infrastructure is crucial to attracting jobs and investment to our region.
Our transportation issues are statewide problems, on urban mass transit and rural routes alike, and we are in this situation because of decades of underinvestment. Though the proposal outlined by Governor Corbett is a step in the right direction, it is just not enough to keep us from falling farther and farther behind.
It is estimated that which each passing day, the cost to repair our transportation system grows by about $1 million, and our regional public transit system has been in perennial crisis for far too many years. Now is the time for the Commonwealth to offer reliable and sustainable support.
But the governor’s proposal falls far short of what the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission—a commission that he convened—has said Pennsylvania needs. It is the job of Governor Corbett and the legislature to capitalize on the abundance of political will and broad-based support for a long-term solution.
Testifiers at my hearing told us that 38 percent of the roads in our district are rated in poor condition, that reliable mass transit is among the foremost factors young people are considering when deciding where to live, and that investments in new technologies can reduce long-term costs. All of what we heard reinforced my belief that we need to makes these investments now, and I will continue to seek to move us toward a solution which truly addresses these pressing needs.
You can read testimony from those who appeared at the hearing, as well as many organizations and citizens who submitted written comments, by clicking here. You can also see me discuss the hearing and transportation issues here.