On Aug. 1, 2011, the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission (TFAC) submitted a comprehensive solution for a lack of transportation financing that addressed funding for roads, local government, public transit, ports, airports, and freight rail. The plan was delivered to Gov. Tom Corbett, who has yet to give it his support.
The funding gap has been established at $3.5 billion per year and that gap grows by $1 million each day the problem is not addressed. As an engineering, architectural, and surveying consulting firm with six offices in Pennsylvania and over 250 employees, 50 of whom work directly in the transportation sector, we are very much aware of the transportation funding crisis that exists.
In meetings with our local legislators, both Republican and Democrat, they have expressed support for transportation funding legislation; however, support from Gov. Corbett is vital for success. In addition, the plan needs the support of Pennsylvania voters. If TFAC's solutions are enacted, these are the benefits Pennsylvania residents will receive within the next decade:
Safer travel: Roadway conditions are a factor in more than 50 percent of fatal traffic accidents, and many of these problems can be solved with inexpensive fixes.
Congestion relief: A less congested transportation system will enable families to spend more time together.
Alternative transportation modes: Public transit, passenger rail, bicycle, and pedestrian opportunities will help ease highway congestion.
Jobs: Improvements to our ports, rails, and roads will create tens of thousands of jobs, mostly in industries other than highway construction.
Pennsylvania-specific economic benefits: Nearly all of the money spent on highways and transportation construction stays in Pennsylvania, creating jobs and boosting Pennsylvania's economy.
As our Commonwealth and our country strive to fully recover from our economic distress, investing in our infrastructure is a very rapid and transparent way to put citizens back to work and to save and create jobs. Gov. Corbett has indicated he wants to get transportation infrastructure properly funded and solve this issue far into the future. We urge Pennsylvanians to support the recommendations that were provided by TFAC, thereby creating a safe and efficient transportation infrastructure, while establishing an environment that fosters economic growth when it's needed the most.
President and CEO
David DeBlander, Chairman of the Board