As a result of the transportation funding law that Pennsylvania state legislators approved last year, motorists in the Keystone State will be seeing a rise in vehicle fees starting this week, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
This is the first time most of these vehicle fees have changed since 1997, Richard Kirkpatrick, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman, said. Act 89, which the state legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett approved in November, is expected to provide around $2.3 billion more per year by 2018 for infrastructural improvements like roads, bridges and public transit.
These funds are expected to come from Pennsylvania’s drivers in a variety of ways, the Inquirer reports. Act 89 will increase the Pennsylvania gas tax and raise fees and fines for things such as a traffic law violation or a drivers-license renewal. The act outlines the plan for a gradual increase in these fees through 2018. According to the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, the average Pennsylvania motorist can anticipate to pay $22 more this year and $132 more by 2018.
While funding for these improvements is sorely needed — Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation in structurally-deficient bridges, according to pottsmerc.com — it is yet to be seen how these increases will impact driver habits throughout the state. Gas prices throughout the state have been up since January, according to theintell.com, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if more drivers sought alternatives to a pricy gas pump.
Bus passenger journeys make up approximately two-thirds of all public transport usage in the United States. Who knows if Pennsylvanians will exceed the national average?