Keystone Coalition members react to introduction of transportation funding bill

Apr 16, 2013, 14:06 ET from Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Various members of the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition attended Sen. John Rafferty's news conference today introducing his transportation funding measure and had the following reactions:

"We now have an opportunity to address a need that will ensure Pennsylvania's economic competitiveness for decades to come," said George Wolff, the coalition's founder.  "A comprehensive solution will improve safety, relieve congestion and improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians."

"The PA Chamber has long advocated for a multi-modal, long-term funding solution to adequately address the state's aging transportation infrastructure," said Sam Denisco, vice president of government affairs for the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.  "We commend Senator Rafferty for being a leader on this issue and moving this process forward, which in the end will result in a reasonable and robust transportation funding plan." 

"A strong transportation system is the lifeblood of a robust economy," said Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.  "We applaud the introduction of this measure and look forward to working with the Administration and General Assembly to ensure that a comprehensive multimodal package has adequate funding for SEPTA, for the Port Authority and other transit systems across the state."

"Transportation investment drives job creation, and infrastructure improvements help our Commonwealth be competitive in attracting business expansion and investment," said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.  "We have thousands of structurally deficient bridges, miles of deteriorating roads and highways and transit systems that need sustainable, ongoing funding.  Senate Bill 1 offers a useful comprehensive framework to look at funding for all forms of transportation, and we need to ensure it provides an adequate level of investment as it moves forward."

"AARP believes Pennsylvania must address growing demand for shared ride and other public transit services that help seniors retain their independence, especially in rural areas of the state," said AARP Pennsylvania State President Jim Palmquist. "The introduction of Senator Rafferty's legislation represents a significant step towards a comprehensive transportation funding plan that addresses the availability of transportation services and the safety of roadways to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians, including our growing population of older adults."

"My fellow retired generals and admirals of a growing effort known as Mission: Readiness applaud the legislative effort to include a first-ever dedicated investment in active transportation (walking and biking) as part of the comprehensive transportation funding solution," said Brigadier General (Ret.) Michael Dunn, M.D. (US Army).  "Investments in active transportation provide a cost-effective opportunity to improve public health and ensure future national security."

"We are extremely pleased that biking and walking is included in this comprehensive transportation bill," said Alex Doty, board member of Pennsylvania Walks and Bikes.  "This is a great chance to make Pennsylvania's streets safer for the increasing number of Pennsylvanians who are walking and biking to work, school and for exercise."  

"Ensuring investments in bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation as part of the larger transportation funding debate is crucial as one way to help fight back against obesity," said Jen Ebersole, Pa. government relations director for the American Heart Association.  "Especially when research tells us that for every $1 invested into building bicycling and pedestrian trails, it yields $3 in medical cost savings."

SOURCE Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition