Transportation is critical to Pennsylvania's economic vitality and well-being. We see that theme across history, and it holds true today in a time of transformative change. Now, enabled by technology and driven by data, the Commonwealth's transportation system can become more efficient, responsive, sustainable, resilient, and equitable than ever before
Pennsylvania's 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) outlines a future transportation system that
Pennsylvanians are creating together.
Transportation agencies provide facilities and services essential to everyday life. As such, we must be able to react effectively to abrupt changes and urgent situations, such as those thrust upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic and the relentless impacts of climate change. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) makes investments in roadways, bridges, public transit, and other infrastructure that last decades, and must do so with a strategic future perspective that considers big-picture outcomes for the Commonwealth's transportation system and its users.
The plan's goals are inspiring and were developed based on broad engagement with diverse stakeholders, the public, and underrepresented interests, which is the cornerstone of the planning process. This resulted in wide-ranging and valuable feedback, so much so that a major goal and objectives specific to addressing equity are a key part of the LRTP.
Our ability to achieve these goals—even with the extensive collaboration with our partners and stakeholders—depends upon securing adequate resources. Implementing strong investment proposals like that put forward by the Transportation Revenue Options Commission will be essential for advancing much of this plan.
Under any funding scenario, collaborating with other agencies, other levels of government, the private sector, MPOs/RPOs, and the public is vital to making positive, systemwide improvements. I am pleased with the diverse engagement that has occurred with such partners, with the aim of collaborative implementation to accomplish common purposes.
Transportation is about fostering opportunity. We must make wise investments in our infrastructure and services that yield great returns, opening opportunities for all Pennsylvanians. As stewards of the statewide transportation system, that mindset is at the heart of this plan and our commitment to implementing its strategic actions and initiatives. We are embracing new tools, skills, processes, and perspectives to accomplish this plan.
A special thank you to the many individuals who provided input during the development of the Commonwealth's 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan. We ask that all Pennsylvanians remain involved as we implement the plan's action strategies and initiatives that will strengthen our transportation system, programs, and services long into the future.
The statewide long-range transportation plan (LRTP) establishes a direction for Pennsylvania's transportation system across a 20-year planning horizon.
This 2045 PA LRTP has been developed alongside a PA Freight Movement Plan (FMP), available on PennDOT's Planning Program's Project Webpage. The two plans complement each other, establishing a comprehensive direction for enhancing the movement of people and goods within and through the state.
The statewide LRTP does not include specific projects, such as bridge replacements or major road improvements. These projects are developed regionally by the state's metropolitan and rural planning organizations (MPOs/RPOs), known as PennDOT's Planning Partners. Each MPO/RPO develops a regional LRTP in step with the statewide direction.
Long-range planning is one of three key phases of transportation improvement. Plans guide development of
Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) established at the regional level. The TIP projects are rolled up
into a Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (or STIP) and included in the statewide 12-Year Program
(TYP), which is updated every two years.
In the off-year, the State Transportation Commission (STC) and Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) compile a Transportation Performance Report (TPR), which serves as a report card on the transportation system and helps direct future programming to achieve plan goals. It is a cornerstone of the TYP development process.
The update of both the LRTP and 12-Year Program included extensive outreach to the public and transportation stakeholders to ensure that public perspectives are considered as part of the process.
More information about the transportation planning process is available on Talk PA Transportation.
Many voices throughout the Commonwealth provided the foundation for effective development and successful implementation of Pennsylvania's 2045 LRTP. The scope and scale of outreach conducted for the LRTP was greater than for any previous plan. The users of the statewide transportation network provide an essential perspective in helping to shape the plan's strategic directions.
To capture transportation system needs and concerns across Pennsylvania, input was solicited in various forums and incorporated at key points during plan development. In addition to statewide public outreach and stakeholder engagement, extensive “in-reach” was a key element of the stakeholder engagement process. PennDOT units and partnering agencies and organizations were engaged to ensure that current and future initiatives would be properly reflected and supported by the LRTP's implementation plan.
The success and implementation of the LRTP strongly depends on public and stakeholder involvement and participation. Feedback was requested on the draft plans through the Public Comment Period from September 20 – October 19, 2021.
Significant effort was made to maximize public outreach during the comment period, through social media, email campaigns and targeting underserved populations such as senior citizens, people with disabilities, and marginalized communities.
This combined outreach process was used for both the 12-Year Program and the LRTP.
Public Surveys Completed
Public Forum Views
Social Media Posts
MPOs and RPOs Engaged
STC & TAC Presentation
Freight Focus Group
Meetings by Mode
Freight Forum Registrations
Equity & Diversity Workshop Attendance
PennDOT Planning Network e-Blasts
State Planning Board Attendance
PennDOT Bureau/District Personnel Engaged
Partnering Agency Interviews & Presentations
Social Media Reach
Public Website Page Views
Email Campaign Contacts
Federally Recognized Tribes Contacted for Feedback
Public Libraries with Printed Copies
*Social Media Definitions
Public feedback was obtained through an online public survey and public forum hosted by PennDOT and the STC for the 2023 12-Year Program update. Extensive outreach and promotions were launched through the STC website, including email blasts to thousands of stakeholders, a targeted social media campaign offered in Spanish and Mandarin—the two most-spoken languages in Pennsylvania after English-traditional media outreach, and outreach in partnership with stakeholders.
Repairing, restoring, reconstructing, and maintaining state and local roads
Repairing, replacing, and maintaining state and local bridges
Using technology to improve traffic flow, add new lanes, and construct new roads
Specific, prioritized investments in Interstate reconstruction
Accessible and connected walking routes
Accessible and frequent public transportation options that cover an extensive area and cross regions
Intercity and commuter rail service with out-of-state connections
Safe routes and facilities throughout the state
Modern highways, railways, airports, and ports to support the economy
Modern facilities, operations, and a wide range of commercial airline choices
Freight networks are critically important to the supply chain which moves essential raw materials as well as finished goods.
Issues such as truck parking will become more challenging as our reliance on goods movement continues to grow.
Trending issues such as automated vehicles, the explosive growth of e-commerce, and changing supply-chain patterns are poised to affect our planning.
It is imperative to reduce the impact of transportation on our changing climate.
We must abide by the value of fairness in working to meet the transportation needs of all our communities and citizens.
Several common themes emerged from interviews of agency executives at the start of the planning process, including:
The following organizations offered local government viewpoints during statewide plan development:
The 2045 LRTP's goals and objectives set a course for PennDOT and its transportation stakeholder and partner organizations to carry out their respective programs with the long-term direction in view. Transportation planning is an ongoing process used to shape future policies, investments, and priorities associated with moving people and goods.
The below goal statements express what is essential to accomplish over the planning horizon.
The goals align with national planning priorities and requirements, while also reflecting concerns and opportunities expressed by MPOs/RPOs, local governments, and the general public. To learn more about each goal's specific objectives, view the full plan.
Enhance safety and security for both motorized and non-motorized modes throughout Pennsylvania's transportation system.
Strengthen transportation mobility to meet the increasingly dynamic needs of Pennsylvania residents, businesses, and visitors.
Improve transportation access and equity throughout Pennsylvania.
Strengthen Pennsylvania transportation's resilience to climate change and other risks and reduce transportation's environmental impacts.
Improve the condition and performance of transportation assets.
Structure transportation funding and finance approaches that allocate sufficient resources for system safety, maintenance, preservation, and improvement.
As of FY 2021-22, it is estimated that PennDOT’s $8.8 billion budget would need to more than double to
adequately address the Commonwealth's transportation system needs.
Further, approximately 75 percent of PennDOT’s highway and bridge funding comes from the federal and state gas tax revenue, which continues to decline. Fuel economy improvements and as well as the transition to alternative fuels and electric vehicles—positive trends in themselves—will continue to reduce gasoline and diesel consumption, and, therefore, the revenue from state and federal fuel taxes. PA Act 44 of 2007 and PA Act 89 of 2013 provided some needed infusions of predictable funding to aid shore up transportation statewide, particularly to the public transportation systems. However, these acts only addressed part of the funding need.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf tasked the transportation Revenue Options Commission (TROC) with developing a
comprehensive, strategic proposal for addressing the state's multimodal transportation funding needs. In
August 2021, TROC submitted its strategic funding proposal. The proposed new and updated revenue sources
would close the state-level transportation funding gap in phases. The TROC report also acknowledged the
unfunded transportation need at the local government level—$3.9 billion per year, growing to $5.1 billion by
2030—and emphasized the need for mechanisms to expand local and regional investment.
Learn more about PennDOT's work to secure transportation funding for the future.
Other future opportunities from a national perspective that will likely have a major bearing on Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania's bridges by condition of deck area
There are over 13,800 Traffic Signals in Pennsylvania, which are primarily owned, maintained, and operated by over 1,200 municipalities. Enhanced traffic signal performance helps improve travel efficiency and highway safety.
State Rail Plan - Eight Key Goals
Source: Pennsylvania State Rail Plan, 2020
PennDOT will create, maintain, and periodically update an Action Plan that includes the strategic actions and initiatives for advancing the goals and objectives covered in the previous section. Actions are defined at a level to be assigned, scheduled, tracked, and collaborated on with partners and stakeholders.
The plan and associated progress will be reviewed twice a year and reported on annually to PennDOT leadership. Basic summaries of plan implementation progress will be provided to the STC, TAC, and other stakeholder groups such as the Planning Catalyst Team, which served as a steering committee for LRTP development.
PennDOT's Program Management Committee will conduct periodic reviews of the Action Plan and specific goals, objectives, and initiatives aimed at maximizing and optimizing plan implementation.
The LRTP will be implemented in collaboration with PennDOT's various regional partners (Figure 22). This promotes collaboration, joint problem-solving, and resource optimization. Specific projects such as a roadway widening or bridge replacement are identified, prioritized, and programmed (placed on a list of funded projects) at the regional level by MPOs and RPOs. They develop regional LRTPs with project lists and establish Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs)—the list of funded projects expected to be undertaken within the next four years.
The State Transportation Commission and the TYP that it approves are key to the plan's implementation. The STC also oversees the issuance of the Transportation Performance Report, which will take on greater significance as this LRTP advances the greater integration of planning, programming and performance measurement.
PennDOT, its stakeholders, and its partner MPOs and RPOs use a variety of data to forecast and plan for future transportation system needs and priorities. PennDOT is working to develop a data repository to aid and support MPOs/RPOs and stakeholders statewide. The effort is aimed at identifying the best available data sources, processing data into easy-to-use products, sharing data in an organized manner, and updating the data on a periodic schedule. Initial efforts will focus on data that can support solutions to our most frequently asked transportation planning questions.
Some of the most important data needs relate to infrastructure (bridges and pavement), freight, and land use.
PennDOT has already initiated efforts to develop data products that help address planning questions across
these topic areas. This includes developing maps highlighting the density of employment by employment type.
Other priority data products (referred to as the “Core Metrics”) will focus on better understanding the
national transportation performance measures and mapping of innovative data sources such as cellular and GPS
travel time and origin–destination data. The Bureau of Public Transportation's Capital Planning Tool (CPT)
is still yet another planning tool provided by PennDOT.
The data repository is envisioned to be an evolving resource that will address new data sources and changes to our future transportation planning needs and questions. It is anticipated to become available to the state's MPOs and RPOs in 2022, and will be an important resource for regional planning and LRTP implementation.
Transportation performance management (TPM) is a federally required approach to prioritizing transportation investment that is focused on results—measurable, strategic improvements to the transportation system. TPM involves setting measurable performance goals for the transportation system, tracking progress, and directing funds to projects that best achieve those goals.
The LRTP will be useful in updating the performance measures of the Transportation Performance Report. New measures may result from this plan.