From May 15-21, Individuals that Track their Commute Can Enter to Win Big Prizes.

Today, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), the region’s metropolitan planning organization, kicked off a one-week long Commuter Challenge—an effort to encourage local residents to take sustainable modes of transportation like carpooling, vanpooling, and biking.

The Commuter Challenge is an initiative of Commute Info, a ride sharing program that offers multiple solutions for individuals or businesses looking to travel in a more green, sustainable way.

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The New Castle Area Transit Authority will be looking to better market itself and its services over the next couple of years.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission presented the marketing plan for the authority for fiscal years 2022-2025 during the authority’s board meeting in March. The SPC helped work on the plan with the authority.

The marketing plan is part of the implementation of the PennDOT Act 44 performance review action plan originally outlined in the NCATA performance system review report of 2018.

The authority will work to market to commuters who ride between three and five days a week, workers, students in high school and college, senior citizens and people with disabilities, as well as tourists.

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The grant is a U.S. Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) transportation grant. It covers the second phase of the $63 million Route 228 corridor project.

This portion of the project stretches from Route 3020 Haine School Road to the Beaver County line. Gateway 228 also includes the realignment of Balls Bend in Middlesex Township.

The improvements to the stretch of road will allow for better traffic capacity, safety and accessibility.

“Strategically, it’s a great project,” Gordon said.

Gordon said about $17 million has been raised locally for Gateway 228, an amount he referred to as “unheard of” at a local level.


Through a multiple-stop tour Friday, Butler County officials welcomed Vincent Valdes, the new executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

According to a county news release Friday, Butler County officials, including the county commissioners, ushered Valdes and U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th, through stops including construction work improving the Route 228 corridor and the UPMC Sports Complex, the Pittsburgh Penguins practice site, in Cranberry Township.

“We’re in such an expansion mode,” said Kelly about the growth of the county.

Mark Gordon, Butler County chief of economic development and planning, said the tour was to welcome Valdes to the region and showcase the county’s economic development.

“We wanted to show the diversity of the county,” Gordon said.

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Virtual public meetings are planned to allow citizens to learn about and comment on transportation improvements proposed in Southwestern Pennsylvania through 2024.

Since large gatherings are on hold during the covid-19 pandemic, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will instead livestream public input sessions on the draft 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

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SPC LTAP Training Dates Released

SPC’s Local Technical Assistance Program’s mission is to share transportation knowledge, improve road maintenance and safety skills, and put research and new technology into practice at the local level. This is accomplished through free training and technical assistance.

Trainings are offered either as half-day or full-day courses. Workshop topics include: Winter Maintenance, Roadside Vegetation, etc.  Customized workshops can be provided at the request of a municipality or a group of municipalities.

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