PennDOT Announces Regional Innovations Challenge Winner

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that a team of students from the Dallas School District in Luzerne County has been selected as the PennDOT District 04 winner for its fourth Innovations Challenge.

Mentored by, Elizabeth Redington, team members include: Colin Marshall and Evan Plank.

Since last fall, students have been working hard to solve this year’s challenge that asked students to develop an innovative and implementable solution that helps address Pennsylvania’s transportation revenue shortfall by identifying potential new funding streams, aside from additional gas taxes, tolls, or mileage-based user fees, to help ensure adequate transportation funding for the future.

“With vehicles becoming more fuel efficient and electric vehicles becoming more affordable, gasoline-based revenues can no longer generate the funds needed,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “To meet the needs of our aging infrastructure, Pennsylvania needs to establish a funding stream that will inject an additional $5 billion per year into our transportation system.”

The winning regional team’s innovation was a development of app that would promote safe driving and reward those safe drivers, as well as discipline drivers that enlist in the app. The app would be based around a monthly fee, for a lowly cost of $4.99. The app would generate extra income and improve the roadways of Pennsylvania.  

Now in its fourth year, the PennDOT Innovations Challenge invites high school students in grades 9-12 to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges. The Innovations Challenge aims to not only help students explore actual transportation challenges that PennDOT is facing, but also open their minds to the very real possibility of working for PennDOT after graduation.

Regional winners will now move on to compete virtually in Harrisburg for the state championship.

The Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA) and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) are providing a combined total award of $5,500 to be divided among the first, second and third place statewide winning teams. Follow PennDOT on Twitter at and like the department on Facebook at and Instagram at