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U.S. SENS. SPECTER AND WOFFORD OUTLINE PROVISIONS OF NEW TRANSPORTATION ACT; CALL IT A BONANZA FOR PENNSYLVANIA

 U.S. SENS. SPECTER AND WOFFORD OUTLINE PROVISIONS
 OF NEW TRANSPORTATION ACT; CALL IT A BONANZA FOR PENNSYLVANIA
 PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) today outlined the major provisions of the new transportation bill which is expected to provide more than 140,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.
 At a press conference here, the two senators said the $155 billion, six-year bill will bring $7.4 billion to the state, $5.6 billion for the highways and $1.8 billion for mass transit systems.
 "This new transportation bill," said Specter, "will dramatically improve our highway infrastructure and our mass transit facilities."
 Both senators said it provides a veritable bonanza for the state and they praised the entire Congressional delegation for making it possible. Specter particularly lauded U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, the ranking Republican on the House Surface Transportation Subcommittee, for his leadership in winning so much for Pennsylvania.
 Specter said the state's share is almost 5 percent of the total funding, up from 4.49 percent under the previous legislation. He said Pennsylvania's return on each tax dollar paid into the Highway Trust Fund in gasoline taxes will rise from a current $1.08 to $1.27 with the new bill.
 "This legislation," he said, "comes at a time when it is desperately needed to help our state's economy which has been hard hit by the current recession. It will pump money into our economy and create jobs. And it will not affect the deficit because the money to be spent has already been paid into the Highway Trust Fund."
 Specter noted that Pennsylvania fared exceptionally well in winning funding for special highway projects -- one-time demonstration projects -- with a total of $934 million set aside for these.
 This is more than double the amount awarded to any other state.
 Another benefit of the new bill, which is officially titled the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, is that major metropolitan areas -- those with populations of 200,000 or more -- are given greater flexibility in transferring highway and mass transit funding to most efficiently improve mobility and in carrying out long-term plans and select projects.
 Specter said the act, which was signed into law by President Bush last Wednesday, makes $11 billion immediately available to repair roads and bridges, improve mass transit and create new jobs, of which 600,000 are expected to be created nationally over the next several months.
 The act, he said, will also create a special $500 million program to support the design and construction of a prototype magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) transportation system to create high-speed rail travel between American cities and to relieve overcrowding on the highways.
 Further benefits of the act, said Specter, include the doubling of transit assistance to rural areas, the expansion of transit service to the elderly and disabled persons and the granting of additional funding to Clean Air Act non-attainment areas to reduce ozone and carbon monoxide.
 /delval/
 -0- 12/23/91
 /CONTACT: Dan McKenna of Sen. Arlen Specter's office, 215-597-7200/ CO: ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


JS-KA -- PH016 -- 4902 12/23/91 14:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 23, 1991
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