Op-Ed: Legislature Blew It By Not Leasing PA Turnpike

In this op-ed, the former Secretary of the PA D.O.T. bemoans the lost opportunity to lease the PA turnpike to receive $12.8 billion from a private investor group, placing the blame squarely on the state legislature and the Turnpike Commission.

"Howard Yerusalim , the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation under Gov. Robert P. Casey, asserts that legislators have 'failed to seize on an historic opportunity to immediately address our state's transportation infrastructure crisis.' And, believe me, it is a crisis.

Faced with a $1.7 billion transportation funding shortfall, Gov. Ed Rendell came up with a creative solution: leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private investor group for an upfront payment of $12.8 billion, and a total package worth nearly $22 billion".

Furthermore, he believes that those legislators who opposed the leasing option offered 'false solutions - like the doomed bid to toll I-80 - to mask their desperate ploy to preserve a bastion of bureaucratic corruption and patronage, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.'

'The failure of the Legislature to act on this extraordinary opportunity - the largest private investment of its kind has led the bidders, a consortium led by Abertis and Citigroup, to withdraw their offer. The fiscal consequences for Pennsylvania will be severe to be sure.

And so what are we left with? The Turnpike Commission has raided the coffers and avoided any business realities in the last two years, doing anything they could to save themselves.'

'It's time the legislature demands a full audit of the books at the turnpike.'"

Thanks to Marilyn Skolnick

Full Story: Guest Op-Ed: Failure to lease Turnpike will cost taxpayers


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.