ACTIVE TRAFFIC ADVISORIES (VIEW ALL):

Financial/Planning

Act 44 Plan

Statewide Transportation Funding Challenges

The Commission developed this online resource to provide background information on Act 44 of 2007 and our agency’s longstanding role as a funding partner with PennDOT.

Act 44 required the PTC to provide PennDOT with $450 million annually for highways, bridges, and public transit, with Act 89 of 2013 modifying the payments to dedicate the full amount to public transit. In 2022, PTC payments to PennDOT for transit will be reduced to $50 million and then $450 million will be provided from the state’s General Fund.

As a result of Act 44, the PTC has been forced to raise toll rates for 11 straight years and has driven the agency’s debt levels to more than $11 billion. In addition, the agency has reduced its rebuilding program by 13 percent and cannot consider any potential expansion projects, including new interchanges Bucks, Chester and Montgomery Counties.

The PTC needs to provide relief to its customers from excessive toll hikes and make critical investments in new interchanges to power economic growth across our entire commonwealth. Our transit agencies also need to be made whole so that they do not suffer significant funding loss and can continue to grow their systems and support the economy.

To address this impending funding crisis, the PTC joined with SEPTA, the transit agency that serves the five-county southeast region of the state, to launch the Southeast Partnership for Mobility. In March 2019, the Partnership issued a report that identifies ways for the PTC to stabilize toll rates while continuing to maintain and expand its system to encourage additional growth and economic competitiveness in the region and across the Commonwealth. For more details visit www.pamobilitypartnerships.com.

Background

The PTC has played a key role in the statewide transportation discussion for decades. The state has turned to the PTC for major highway expansion projects, including the ongoing Southern Beltway and Mon-Fayette projects and others. Since 2007, the PTC has provided more than $6 billion to PennDOT to fund transit systems across the state.

What is the Turnpike Commission’s role in statewide transportation funding?

In July 2007, Governor Ed Rendell signed Act 44 into law, requiring the Commission to provide annual payments to PennDOT to help fund projects and transit operation in every county in the state. In order to make these payments, the PTC has raised toll rates every year since 2007. What impact has Act 44 had on the Turnpike Commission?

Act 44 marked an important change for our customers and our agency operations. In addition to the impact on our customers, the PTC’s growing debt as a result of the Act 44 payments has compelled the PTC to reduce its capital plan by 13 percent. While Act 44 will continue to pose significant challenges, the Commission continues to achieve our mission of providing safe and efficient travel for our passenger and commercial customers. However, we cannot consider new expansion projects, such as electronic interchanges which are critical to our statewide economy.

Why Did the Legislature Pass Act 44?

The goal of Act 44 was to provide necessary funding for statewide interstate, road, bridge, and transit projects across the state. The revenue was to come from expanded tolling in the state. Under Act 44, Pennsylvania made an application to the Federal Highway Administration for permission to place tolls (I-80). The Commission was to install and manage toll collection on I-80. The tolls would have funded I-80’s reconstruction and funded Commission payments to PennDOT. After three years of studies, the federal government denied the state’s application. The PTC, however, still must continue to make annual payments to PennDOT. Act 44 was amended by Act 89 of 2013. With the new law, the PTC's annual payments to PennDOT will remain at $450 million through June of 2022. All $450 million will be allocated to support transit and other non‐highway programs. Starting in fiscal year 2022, the payments drop to $50 million per year until 2057.

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