Final report: Raise money or roads will get worse

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A 40-member commission appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett has delivered its final report, with recommendations for increasing transportation funding and helping Pennsylvania catch up on badly needed improvements to roads, bridges and transit.

The governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission has recommended ways to generate $2.7 billion in new revenue per year. Drivers would pay a few cents more per gallon of gasoline and higher registration, driver's license and other vehicle-related fees.

The funding recommendations were made public last month; new in the report is a section outlining the consequences of doing nothing, including more bad bridges, oil-and-chip resurfacing instead of paving, and deeper cuts to public transit.

But the commission said the issue "is about more than potholes -- the issues at hand affect safety, our economy, and the environment, all of which shape the quality of life and ease of commerce in Pennsylvania."

"There is no magic wand that can eliminate the challenges that lie ahead in building better roads and bridges and keeping our transportation system safe and efficient," said Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch, in the cover letter of the report. "This report is a good starting point in developing responsible ways to fund our roads and bridges, public transit, aviation, rail and ports."

The commission's recommendations would require approval by the Legislature and Mr. Corbett.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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