Daily News Briefs, May 26, 2022

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Pennsylvania House Passes Bill On ETC Policies And Procedures

Pennsylvania House Bill 2139 received the unanimous approval of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and passed to the Senate for consideration. In its original form, the measure required the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) to issue affirmative notice of the assessment of a V-toll, the flat fee posted to an E-ZPass account identified through license plate cross-checking following a transponder-read failure. However, after consultation with PTC, the bill was amended to enhance payment enforcement procedures, require an annual report on uncollected revenue and authorize a feasibility study into “alternative electronic toll collection payment options.” (A House committee fiscal note summarizes the measures’ current provisions.)

WPXI reports, HB 2139’s sponsor credits the station’s reporting on V-tolls for convincing him to introduce the original measure.

AET (All-Electronic Tolling) E-ZPass ETC Systems Mobile Payment Systems Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) Scofflaws Transponder RFID Technology

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US And Canada Leaders Confer On Transportation Links And Supply Chain Issues

Transport Topics reports, USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra met in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the importance of surface transportation links between the countries and potential responses to supply chain disruptions. Topics explored by the two officials included protesters’ February blockade of the Ambassador Bridge; the ongoing Gordie Howe International Bridge construction project; and eliminating trade corridor bottlenecks and enhancing border crossing facilities to facilitate international freight movement.

The Detroit News also covers the meeting.

Canada Detroit Int'l Bridge Company (Ambassador Bridge) Gordie Howe Int'l Bridge Highway and Bridge Maintenance Michigan Ontario US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) US Department of Transportation (USDOT)

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The Duel Over How To Reduce Southern Ontario Congestion

The Globe and Mail reports on the increase in southern Ontario traffic over the past decade and competing proposals for reducing congestion. Premier Doug Ford’s government proposes to build a costly new non-tolled highway (Ontario 413) that would extend over 35 miles and slice through greenbelts and farms. Major opposition parties have all committed to shelving the 413 plan in favor of alternate solutions. The most discussed option is subsidizing commercial truckers’ use of the privately operated 407 ETR, which is underutilized because of its expensive toll rates.

407 ETR Concession Canada Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) Cintra Environmental Protection Policies Procedures And Initiatives Ontario SNC-Lavalin Group Toronto Metro Region (GTA)

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Firms Document Cost And Energy Savings Obtained Through LED Lighting Conversions

“Government Technology” reports, LED street lighting has “exploded in popularity in recent years,” and recent data on the results of some lighting replacement projects explain why. RealTerm Energy and Ubicquia, firms that partner on “smart street lighting” installations, report that six municipalities in Maine, New York and Massachusetts achieved a collective savings of nearly $1 million per year in electricity costs after converting to LED and implementing smart lighting controls. The projects also produced environmental and safety benefits.

In a joint news release issued yesterday, the companies provided additional data on the results of conversion projects they have undertaken.

Environmental Protection Policies Procedures And Initiatives Highway and Bridge Maintenance

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States And Cities Call For Federal Help In Filling Infrastructure Jobs

Transport Topics reports, the major associations representing US state and local government entities are calling for a national workforce investment strategy and, in particular, federal support for finding workers for IIJA-funded infrastructure projects. Among other things, the coalition — it includes the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties and the National League of Cities — wants Congress “to invest in national skills training systems and programs to meet employer demand” and “increase legal immigration by raising employment-based visa program caps to expand the number of qualified people for hard-to-fill jobs such as truck drivers, heavy-equipment operators, agricultural workers and engineers.” The article spotlights staffing challenges encountered by Connecticut state officials charged with getting new infrastructure projects off the ground.

Infrastructure Workforce Issues US Department of Transportation (USDOT) US Gov't Transportation Funding US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives

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These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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