Professor says transit funding bill would cost more next year

Philadelphia skyline

Franklin Moon said the public shouldn’t be scared: “Bridges rarely fall down.”

That’s not the problem. Here’s the problem: “We’re to the point where bridges are deteriorating at a rate in which if we don’t do something this year, then next year it’s going to cost more money,” he said.

Pennsylvania, said Moon, an associate professor of civil engineering at Drexel University, has “systemically underfunded” it’s aging infrastructure system.

Which brings us to the transportation-funding bill currently on its way to the state Senate floor. Twenty-four hours after the state House twice voted down the bill that would fund repairs to many of the state’s bridges, roads and public transit systems, lawmakers reconvened Tuesday night and voted it in.

The vote ushers the $2.3 billion bill into the Senate for approval. If it passes the Senate, it returns to the House for final approval. It could be approved as early as Thursday.

If approved, about $1.6 billion will go annually toward road and bridge repairs annually and approximately $500 million annually for public transit.

The House bill calls for raised rates for driver’s licenses and registration, moving violations, and gas. All would take effect in 2015.

“If you want a public infrastructure system,” Moon said, “Then you have to pay for it.”

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