'Who does the PTC answer to anyway?'
A bit of background on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
That's the question posed by a reader in response to the news that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is raising tolls in 2013. She also wondered, "The 'funding obligation' of 450 million is being spent where, exactly?"
We relayed those questions to Mimi Doyle, PTC's Public Information Manager for the East, who rounded up the following answers.
Which part of government oversees the PTC?
The PTC was created in 1937 by the PA Legislature, Act No. 211, with the authority to construct, finance, operate and maintain a toll highway. The Legislature continues to define our role with the passage of Act 61 of 1985 and Act 44 of 2007. Members of the Turnpike Commission are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate of PA. PTC operations are audited by the PA Auditor General every four years. The Commission communicates regularly with both the PA Senate and House of Representatives and appears before various Senate and House committees when invited. In addition, an independent audit firm conducts an annual financial audit of the Commission and PTC operations and finances are regularly reviewed by the Wall Street rating agencies – Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch – who establish the Commission’s credit rating.
On to the reader's second question:
The annual $450 million payment to PennDOT is a separate payment over and above the annual capital ($563M) and operating ($326M) budgets.
Also worth noting:
Two years ago, a Montgomery County state representative introduced legislation to fold the PTC into PennDOT.
According to a July 13 TribLive article, the PTC is under examination by the state attorney general and a grand jury is investigating “employment practices, procurement practices and use of Commonwealth resources to conduct political activities.”
Doyle also provided these updated figures for the PTC:
- We are now a 553 mile-long system.
- Operating revenues of more than $750 million.
- 520,000 vehicles a day.