Last month, Gov. Tom Corbett and the General Assembly showed that they are not gridlocked like Washington and can accomplish bold things to enhance the lives of Pennsylvania citizens.
It was a tough vote, but our Legislature did the right thing, passing a long-overdue transportation funding bill. The cost of doing nothing would have been much worse.
I've seen a lot of things over my more than 40-year career in the transportation industry, but this has been the most dire situation I have ever seen. Our company moved good-paying jobs across all socioeconomic levels out of Pennsylvania and has grown in other states over the last 10 years. As one of the "Best Places to Work in PA," we have been disappointed that most of our work and workforce is operating in other states.
Pennsylvania has been lagging, and while nobody wants to pay more, the transportation funding situation had become totally inadequate, making our transportation system unsustainable. The last funding increase in 1997, was primarily tied to the number of gallons sold and not the price of fuel, so as traffic volumes increased, increasing congestion and damage to our roads and bridges, revenues were constrained by more fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels.\
Improving Pennsylvania's infrastructure and mass transit opportunities will make Pennsylvania a better place to live, work and play. It was the right thing to do. Safety of our aging infrastructure became increasingly concerning.
While many think contractors are "self serving" by supporting this legislation, it is worth noting that Pennsylvania contractors are quite knowledgeable of the condition of our infrastructure and also have a reputation for creating jobs and contributing to our communities. Furthermore, any resident of Pennsylvania will likely benefit from improved safety, better roads and less congestion.
Additional funding provided in this bill for public transportation, passenger rail and bicycle and pedestrian opportunities will also help ease highway congestion and improve the environment.
Thank you to Rep. Seth Grove, Rep. Ron Miller, Rep. Stan Saylor, Rep. Kevin Schreiber and Sen. Mike Waugh for getting this done.