Gov. Tom Corbett urged passage of a transportation funding proposal Thursday. It was the second call to action within a week.
A $2.5 billion plan is expected to be passed by the full Senate within the next two weeks.But the real question is whether House Republicans will vote for a bill that does things such as hike driver’s license fees and uncap a tax paid by gas stations.
PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch says he’s been going to each House lawmaker to explain what’s at stake.
“I totally respect this is not an easy decision for a sitting legislator to take a vote on something where we’re going to charge people more,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is educate everyone on what’s the cost if you don’t do it. And what are you going to charge people.
“Because, you know, we either charge you to fix the problem or we don’t charge you and then the problem gets worse,” he said. “And then we’re charging you a different way.”
A Washington-based transportation group backed by construction contractors has put a figure to the average annual cost of ailing roads and bridges.
Its report finds that each Pennsylvania driver pays up to $1,800 a year due to things like higher vehicle operating costs and traffic delays.
Schoch has been on red alert for months, warning about bridge weight limits and mass transit service reductions if a funding plan doesn’t make it to the governor’s desk.