Truckers sue PA Turnpike because tolls are subsidizing public transit

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Truckers sue PA Turnpike because tolls are subsidizing public transit
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, August 02, 2018 4:54 PM

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2018/07/27/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-truckers-lawsuit-PennDOT-Port-Authority-transit-payment/stories/201807260203

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, August 03, 2018 9:40 PM

Fine, give the toll money to the highways, but then raise the fuel taxes to cover the actual cost to maintain the roads, so we don't have to make up the $40+ billion shortfall per year with tax money.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, August 03, 2018 9:57 PM

MidlandMike
Fine, give the toll money to the highways, but then raise the fuel taxes to cover the actual cost to maintain the roads, so we don't have to make up the $40+ billion shortfall per year with tax money.

PA Turnpike tolls are exhorbitant - used the Turnpike on a trip to Ohio last year.  Breezewood to the Ohio line - 160 miles - $19.20 toll for a single two axle vehicle.  Twelve cents per mile.

While I didn't memorize all the tolls for the various classes of traffic - I did notice that some of the listed tolls for other destinations for higher classes of vehicles were beyond $200.

EZ Pass tolls are cheaper.  PA is milking the traveling public both on Turnpike Tolls and gas prices which are routinely 20 cents higher that adjoining states (except New York).

         

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Saturday, August 04, 2018 11:47 AM

The tolls on the Ohio/Penn/New York turnpikes thay told us 50 years ago were supposed to be a temp thing untill the bonds to build the Toll roads were paid off. They dont want to kill a cash cow.

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Posted by alphas on Monday, August 06, 2018 9:46 AM

Working for the PA Turnpike Authority is one of the "sweetest" government jobs in PA.    For years it was a patronage system and while that has somewhat changed, it still pays far better than the "market" would.     Anyway, PA is in deep financial trouble due to its underfunded public pension systems and heavy unionization of government employees which drives up costs due to salaries and work rules.     [Plus major industry doesn't come here to replace what was lost in the textile, steel & coal areas due to an antiquated business tax system and its history of confrontal unionization.]    Hence, the heavy gas taxes as well as some other taxes.

One solution that has been floated would be to sell the PA Turnpike to a private operator for billions--then put the money in the pension funds to go a long way towards bailing them out.    The Turnpike unions don't want that and the rest of the state employee unions don't want it either as that could start a trend.      So it hasn't gone anywhere.

 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, August 06, 2018 9:17 PM

New York State is not that far behind

 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, August 06, 2018 9:25 PM

The problem with the OP is that he fails to mention which truckers are sueing PennDOT and or what org are they from??

 

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 9:29 PM

It's OOIDA and the ATA both going after Pennsylvania. New York already has been sued and lost for using Thruway money to support the canal system in NY.  The lawyers and accountants have yet to figure out how much of a refund the OTR industry is getting for 50 years of diversion.  

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Posted by samfp1943 on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 11:08 PM

BaltACD wrote the following post[in part]:  "...EZ Pass tolls are cheaper. PA is milking the traveling public both on Turnpike Tolls and gas prices which are routinely 20 cents higher that adjoining states (except New York)..."

PA and NY are just a couple that 'stick out' in the grand political scheme of things. Here in Kansas, the Turnpike Authority, has been a recent, and ongoing target of the Brownback/Colyer administrations; as they drool over the accumulation of funds in the Turnpike Operating accounts.   Deficits run in the School/Education budgets are a major problem; the State employees' pensions, are also problematic. Bang Head

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by erikem on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 11:26 PM

Shadow the Cats owner

New York already has been sued and lost for using Thruway money to support the canal system in NY.

Pennsylvania might be in a better position if they can show that money spent on public transit reduces congestion on the PA Turnpike.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 8:25 AM

The thing is the way these turnpike commisions are set up was the money taken in is only to be used for the maintance of the highway nothing else no diverting of the money allowed.  That is were NY got it's *** in the wringer.  PA from what has been found out is set up the same way.  

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 9:42 AM

erikem

 

 
Shadow the Cats owner

New York already has been sued and lost for using Thruway money to support the canal system in NY.

 

 

Pennsylvania might be in a better position if they can show that money spent on public transit reduces congestion on the PA Turnpike.

 

erikem

 

 
Shadow the Cats owner

New York already has been sued and lost for using Thruway money to support the canal system in NY.

 

 

Pennsylvania might be in a better position if they can show that money spent on public transit reduces congestion on the PA Turnpike.

 

  Well shut down Metro/North and NJ Transit and SEPTA and watch as the Philly Ben Franklin Bridge Clog and 20,000 extra cars from people who ride the Light Rail in downtown Pittsburgh clogging up the tunnels and no place to park in  the Downtown Triangle and the George Washington Bridge back up for 20 miles.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 9:47 AM

https://www.ooida.com/CourtActions/ for Owner Operated Association will be sending them a letter soon and will post reply

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 2:44 PM

It can vary from state to state.  The Illinois Toll Highway Authority is a completely separate public entity and does not receive any funding from the state budget.  All operating expenses, including maintenance, snow removal, bond repayments, etc. come out of tolls.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 2:49 PM

Shadow the Cats owner
PA from what has been found out is set up the same way.

Not anymore.  Act 44 of 2007 and Act 89 of 2013 changed that.

Did NY ever have pass acts like that for their turnpike system?

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Thursday, August 09, 2018 12:42 PM

Maybe we, the motoring public, should start suing the state and federal governments for all the money that they have diverted from toll revenue to build worthless trollies to nowhere just to satisfy some politician's ego.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 09, 2018 1:03 PM

runnerdude48
Maybe we, the motoring public, should start suing the state and federal governments for all the money that they have diverted from toll revenue to build worthless trollies to nowhere just to satisfy some politician's ego.

Not all jurisdictions have toll facilities.  Observation - those toll facilities that exist have made it their mission to contiue to exist as toll facilities - irrespective of how well or poorly they maintain the facilities that occasion the use of tolls.

The only toll facilities that I can recall that ceased to exist were those in Jacksonville which ceased to exist in 1989.  Tolls were collected for the Trout River, Hart, Matthews and Fuller Warren bridges as well as J Turner Butler Blvd. to Jacksonville Beach.  Toll booths created monumental traffic congestion and the populace voted to replace the tolls with a 1/2 cent sales tax.

         

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 09, 2018 1:20 PM

BaltACD
The only toll facilities that I can recall that ceased to exist were those in Jacksonville which ceased to exist in 1989.

I was never prouder of the state of Connecticut than when they kept their word about the Connecticut Turnpike.  They promised that when the bonds to build it had matured, they would eliminate tolls on it ... and so they did.

Less happily, New York opted to keep its pathetic little toll on the connecting part of the road; fortunately, there were 'free' alternative routes that at the time didn't involve too much diversion.

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Posted by Cricketer on Thursday, August 09, 2018 4:11 PM

It does rather show that even Railroad fans are actually just slightly different versions of petrolheads when most of the posts here are arguing that making driving cheaper is the right thing to do. Maybe cheap driving was the cause of the collapse of the American passenger network.

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Posted by PJS1 on Monday, August 13, 2018 9:27 AM

BaltACD
 The only toll facilities that I can recall that ceased to exist were those in Jacksonville which ceased to exist in 1989.  

Tolls were removed from the Dallas/Fort Worth toll road in 1977, as the roadway's debt had been retired.  Motorists had paid for the roadway.  The roadway is now part of I-30.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 13, 2018 2:24 PM

Cricketer
Maybe cheap driving was the cause of the collapse of the American passenger network.

There is a difference here.  Making driving cheap had the effect of making 'business-as-ordinary' rail service look inadequate in comparison, just as it did so thoroughly for interurbans and streetcars a couple of decades earlier.   But there were many other synergistic advantages to better cars on better roads... and, although it galls me, to a nationwide infrastructure of cheaper and better parts, supplies, and fuel that would eventually employ one out of every six people in the United States in a reasonably Depression-proof set of interrelated industries.

The issue here is whether artificially making driving more expensive, with 'punitive' levels of taxation or high tolls, mandatory insurance, the whole world of 'causing pain to CDL people', etc. is the right answer to assuring a stable 'national network' of decent, let alone exceptional, rail passenger service.  I would suggest that almost no amount of negative incentive any democratic electorate would stand would actually suffice to bring this about, either in terms of the necessary (probably subsidized) infrastructure or the arrangements needed to run it effectively.

And then there is the inherent nature of taxation as having the same moral and financial effect as a tariff.  Interesting how many of the folks disliking tariffs support diverting things like Highway Trust Fund money to alternative transportation "because it needs it". 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 13, 2018 3:30 PM

The American spirit ever since the founding of Plymouth and Jamestown colonies has been about upsetting the stats quo.  What we have for today is not good enough for tomorrow - for over 500 years the American spirt has driven to the beat of better, faster, bigger, cheaper and whatever it takes to pull it off.

Europeans by the boat and plane load have found out that the USA is a much bigger country than they ever realized while living in Europe.  The distance between metropolitan centers is a further distance than they had become accustomed to in Europe.

The USA built its own culture by incorporating what was percieved to be the best elements of the immigrent populations that sought to find a new start in a new land where their own success or failure could be in their own hands.

The large cities in the USA's colonial period and later were not built around midevil castles and the social and building structures that supported it, thus they had a more open opportunity to build wider streets with fewer impedements to both horse drawn and later internal combustion powered vehicle.

After WW II with most of Western Europe having been devastated by the war and virtually every human need being is short supply, Europe invested in its railroad network as the most economic means of jump starting and sustaining an economy after the war.  The US had no such devastation to recover from, just a worn out railroad system that had much maintenance deferred on it during the war to support the war effort.

After the war, the returning veterens had much of their accumulated earnings from almost 5 years of war to spend on marriage, homes and cars and being a political force to improve their homes and the roads the cars operated on.

Europe and their aims were very different from the aims of the US after the war.

         

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:09 PM

BaltACD
Europe invested in its railroad network as the most economic means of jump starting and sustaining an economy after the war.

At the end of WWII surprisingly only 4,000 out of 31,000 miles were completely destroyed. Most of the balance was damaged but quite easily repaired.

If statistics are right, in 1939 one of 20 people had a car, in 1950 this was about one out of 50 up from about less than one out of 100 in 1947.

Rebuilding the rail network was not only the most economical way but the only way to get a functioning transportation system fast. But most repairs were fast, cheap fixes which later needed reworking to get it to a modern standards.

Another factor was that public transportation is a basic right established in the German constitution.
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by PJS1 on Monday, August 13, 2018 10:53 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
 Another factor was that public transportation is a basic right established in the German constitution.

Regards, Volker  

Does this mean that the state - government - will subsidize the fares for lower income riders or in the extreme pay the whole fare for people who don't have the money?

I enjoy your perspectives.  Your views along with those from our Australian and Canadian participants add great value to the discussions. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:14 AM

PJS1
Does this mean that the state - government - will subsidize the fares for lower income riders or in the extreme pay the whole fare for people who don't have the money?

First of all it means there has to be some kind of public transportation.

The local public transport of a number of communities is often bundled in regional transport systems. These are subsidized by government and offer lower rates (social tickets) for people who are registered for becoming e.g. unemployment assistance or sozial welfare.

For those needing to cross the borders of regional transport system the states, e.g. Northrhein-Westfalia (NRW), offer subsidized state-wide valid subsidized tickets for the same group of persons. NRW has an area of 13,300 sq mi and roughly 150 miles in north-south and east-west directions. Other states offer the same.

Not only the social tickets are subsidized, the whole local public transport is subsidized. The City of Hamburg pays its regional public transport system (HVV) about $250 million per year. It serves about 3.5 million people.

For cross state border traffic Deutsche Bahn is responsible. They don't offer a subsidized ticket. Their argument is that they offer low fares when you can plan three weeks in advance. A limited number of tickets for each train then costs only about $36.00 even on the longest possible route within Germany.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:30 AM

BaltACD
for over 500 years the American spirt has driven to the beat of better, faster, bigger, cheaper and whatever it takes to pull it off.

What are you referring to?  The first British colony in what later became the United States was Jamestown in 1607, followed by Plymouth in 1620. The Dutch started their first colony in the Albany, NY area in 1615.  The Swedes started a settlement in present-day Delaware in 1635. The French started a colony up in Nova Scotia in 1605 and the Spanish founded St. Augustine in FL in 1565.  

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, August 18, 2018 3:06 PM

charlie hebdo
 
BaltACD
for over 500 years the American spirt has driven to the beat of better, faster, bigger, cheaper and whatever it takes to pull it off. 

What are you referring to?  The first British colony in what later became the United States was Jamestown in 1607, followed by Plymouth in 1620. The Dutch started their first colony in the Albany, NY area in 1615.  The Swedes started a settlement in present-day Delaware in 1635. The French started a colony up in Nova Scotia in 1605 and the Spanish founded St. Augustine in FL in 1565. 

All of which happend over 500 years ago - ever since we have pushed West to explore and tame the continent we inhabit.  Better, Faster, Bigger, Cheaper and so it goes - improvement after improvement.  Good Enough is not the American Spirit - if it is good for now, we will make it better tomorrow.  NIMBY's and BANANA's be damed.

         

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, August 18, 2018 3:46 PM

Sorry, it happened just around 400 years ago, not 500.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, August 18, 2018 4:40 PM

Backshop
Sorry, it happened just around 400 years ago, not 500.  

Columbus in 1492 is still considered when the 'New World' was found.

         

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, August 18, 2018 8:06 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Backshop
Sorry, it happened just around 400 years ago, not 500.  

 

Columbus in 1492 is still considered when the 'New World' was found.

 

You were referring to American spirit.  Columbus in 1492 had nothing to do with that.  And you might want to brush up on your math skills as well as history. Oops - Sign

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