- As he did when first running for public office in 2008, state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) finds himself, now in the final month of his final term in the state House, fending off the threat to toll roadways in the district he represents.
“When PennDOT announced last week that it plans to move forward with a plan to charge tolls on major bridges throughout the Commonwealth, I was immediately reminded of Act 44 of 2007
and multiple attempts to toll Interstate 80,” Gabler said. “My then-colleagues in the I-80 corridor and I managed to defeat all three tolling efforts, even going so far as to testify in Washington, DC before the Federal Highway Administration. This time, the public really needs to step up because PennDOT claims it does not need legislative approval to move forward with this new plan.”
Gabler is referring to requests for feedback made by PennDOT, which is looking for ways to backfill funding for transportation in the face of a more than $8 billion gap. The department claims federal funding has remained essentially flat for several years and Pennsylvania’s gas tax, which makes up 74 percent of PennDOT’s funding and is the highest in the nation, has become insufficient.
“As has been the case throughout my career in the state Legislature, my primary concern is for taxpayers and for our local economy. I fear that this plan, if implemented in the wrong manner, could amount to a back-door attempt to toll I-80, placing an undue burden on local families and job creators,” added Gabler. “I feel we need to watch the implementation of this very closely and provide clear feedback to ensure the burden isn’t placed disproportionately on rural Pennsylvania.”
PennDOT will be accepting feedback through Dec. 17, 2020. Public comments can be submitted directly by the following means:
Mail: PA Department of Transportation, Keystone Building, 400 North St., Fifth Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120
“I’m asking the residents of the 75th Legislative, and the I-80 corridor in general, to exercise the ability to voice their opinion. I hope my soon-to-be former colleagues in the General Assembly do likewise,” said Gabler.
Questions about this legislation or any state-related matter may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at (814) 375-4688, his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301 or his Clearfield office at (814) 765-0593.
State Representative Matt Gabler
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little