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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 6, 2022 02:38 PM
From: Senator John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Public Transportation Modernization
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation designed to modernize the management of our public transportation systems with a focus on funding predictability and ensuring funding is spent as dictated by local decision-making.
As background, Pennsylvania’s public transportation systems represented by the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association (PPTA) are dedicated to delivering safe, reliable, sustainable, accessible, and customer-focused public transit services.  Each day, public transportation provides over one million rides to people throughout all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  Together, these trips contribute to mobility, economic vitality, sustainability, and an enhanced quality of life throughout the Commonwealth.
Act 89 of 2013 provided stable and reliable funding to ensure that Pennsylvania’s public transportation systems could provide critical mobility to the citizens across the Commonwealth.  However, emerging funding uncertainty puts these successes at risk.
My legislation would update Title 74 (Transportation) to modernize the management of our public transportation systems with a proposal supported by the PPTA to provide predictability in capital funding and increase local control in transit decisions through the following measures:
  • Maintain the existing formula for operating funds.
  • Maintain the existing split for capital funds for Class 1 (SEPTA), 2 (PAAC), 3 (small-urban), 4 (rural).
  • Ensure rural transit authorities are given priority in receiving federal 5311 funds (Funds designated for rural transit and administered by PennDOT).
  • Provide for a detailed independent planning study or Transit Development Plan conducted by award recipients rather than PennDOT led performance reviews.
  • Modify language for performance measures to be determined locally.
  • Add definitions to emphasize the federal requirements for the Transit Asset Management Plan performance goals and the Public Transit Safety Plans.
  • Enhance definition for asset maintenance costs and eligible uses.
  • Modify language concerning fare increases to reflect local performance goals.
  • Add definition for Simplified Acquisition Threshold-Small Purchases to match federal language.
  • Allow PennDOT to develop and implement a “Pilot Program” for shared ride service delivery.
  • Require additional accountability of PennDOT on the amount, use, and distribution of funds on an annual basis.
  • Revise language for meaningful performance reviews based upon public participation and agency specific criteria.
  • Ensure capital funds are bondable.
Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation which will modernize public transportation and better facilitate capital funding for transit providers in the Commonwealth.

Introduced as SB1264