PennDOT News

PennDOT Reminds High School Students of ‘Innovations Challenge’ Deadline

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reminds high school students of the upcoming deadline for the sixth annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge, which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers. The Innovations Challenge is open to all students in grades 9-12, regardless of their school’s learning model.

For this year’s challenge, students are asked to develop ideas to help address the shortage of commercial truck parking along major interstate corridors in Pennsylvania. Trucks parking on highway shoulders and ramps is common during overnight hours and presents a significant safety issue.

The challenge asks students to select one of Pennsylvania’s interstate corridors where truck parking is a known issue and develop an innovative approach to increase commercial truck parking availability in that area and offset costs incurred for construction. The solution must consider local ordinances and zoning laws for the area selected, commercial entity interaction in land development, community impact, restroom facilities, and space requirements for commercial trucks that are generally 70-80 feet long.

Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to present their solutions to the PennDOT Secretary and a panel of judges, who will determine the statewide winner. For this year’s challenge, the Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), has donated $2,500 and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) has donated $1,500 for a combined total award of $4,000 to the statewide winning team.

For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit and click on Innovations Challenge. The submission deadline is Jan. 27, 2023.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Alexis Campbell, 717-783-8800 or

PennDOT and Human Services Urges PA Residents to use Find My Ride

The Pennsylvania departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Human Services (DHS) today urged Pennsylvanians to use Find My Ride (FMR) to learn about public transit options and apply for transportation assistance programs. More than 12,500 Pennsylvanians have been approved for services since FMR launched in May 2021.

Public transportation services are available in every county in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Shared ride service in all 67 counties;
  • Fixed route bus service in 49 counties; and
  • Fixed route rail service in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

“We’re pleased that so many Pennsylvanians have been connected to these important services and we encourage more to apply,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “Transit provides a vital connection to jobs, to medical appointments, and to our communities.”

Citizens are encouraged to use FMR Apply, an online tool which was developed collaboratively with transit agencies and streamlines the application process for eight transportation assistance programs in the state, including the Senior Shared Ride program, the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), ADA complementary paratransit, the Persons with Disabilities program; the Free Transit Program; Area Agency on Aging funded trips for people 60-64, fixed route half/reduced fare for persons with disabilities, and discounted shared ride service for veterans. Additionally, FMR Apply allows third-parties, such as a family member or healthcare provider, to apply for services on behalf of a rider.

Collectively, 24.4 million trips supported by these programs were provided to Pennsylvanians in the 2020-21 fiscal year. An additional 141 million trips – including 17.7 million free senior trips – were provided through fixed route service in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Since the rollout of FMR Apply in May 2021 via transit agencies, it’s easier for the public to access these programs. Customers do not need to determine what programs they are eligible for, and this, coupled with the user-friendly application, has resulted in increased applications. Automatic data validation within the application has resulted in improved data accuracy, saving transit agencies time and money in processing applications. Transit agencies can process applications more efficiently, which allows transit users to access benefits faster. 

“Find My Ride is an excellent example of collaboration between state agencies, and we encourage anyone who may need transportation services to use this too. Nobody should let a lack of transportation keep you from getting to a doctor’s appointment or filling your prescription,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead.

DHS’ MATP program provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers who do not have access to transportation. MATP has funded more than 15 million trips since 2019, and each county provides the type of transportation that is the least expensive while still meeting an individual’s needs.

Find My Ride’s education and application modules were developed over two years, made possible by $1 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and $1 million in state transit funding. In June 2022, additional FTA funds were awarded through a program that was expanded under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The new FTA funds will allow for the expansion of upgrades of FMR to simplify the public’s access to the tool as well as streamline processes for healthcare providers and MATP administrators. Some examples of enhancements to the system supported by these new grant funds include:

  • Allowing consumers to request fixed route and mileage reimbursement assistance directly via FMR and give them the option of having reimbursements transmitted directly to their bank account;
  • Creating an interface between FMR and DHS’s PROMISe system, which will allow MATP administrators to verify a consumer’s MATP eligibility automatically;
  • Allowing MATP administrators to issue fixed route tickets and passes directly to a consumer’s mobile ticketing app; and
  • Giving health care providers a means to verify a visit occurred using the system.

More information on public transit and alternative transportation options like ridesharing, biking, and walking, is available on PennDOT’s website.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Alexis Campbell, PennDOT, 717-783-8800 or;

Brandon Cwalina, DHS,

PennDOT District 4 Now Hiring for Paid Internships and Summer Maintenance Positions

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is seeking hardworking individuals for paid internships, summer maintenance and student summer workers. If you enjoy working in an active, fast-paced environment with the potential for promotion into a permanent position, check out the various opportunities at PennDOT and apply today!

Engineering Internship – PennDOT – Statewide (College)

Are you looking for a paid internship?  The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) offers statewide paid internship opportunities during the summer to students in a variety of majors, predominantly in engineering, science, and technology fields; however, PennDOT does more than just road construction and snow removal. PennDOT is a customer-driven service organization responsible for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of Pennsylvania’s multimodal transportation system.

PennDOT interns enjoy opportunities in various areas of PennDOT operations. Internship opportunities associated with this posting will be headquartered throughout PennDOT’s Engineering Districts. Although all assignments may not be offered in every location, additional examples of work and special projects may be available. View PennDOT’s District map to see where your home county lies.

You may be able to obtain academic credit through participation in PennDOT’s internship program. Ask your academic advisor if your college offers credit for paid internships.

Additionally, some internships may offer the flexibility to telework if determined operationally appropriate by the hiring organization.

PennDOT College Student Summer Worker

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is seeking hard-working college students for employment during the summer months for the 2023 Summer Employment Program! If you enjoy working in an active, fast-paced environment while performing a public service, check out this opportunity and apply today!

PennDOT Summer Employment Program (Non-Student)
The Commonwealth is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse workforce. The Commonwealth values inclusion as we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most qualified people to serve the citizens of Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, union membership, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, AIDS or HIV status, disability, or any other categories protected by applicable federal or state law. All diverse candidates are encouraged to apply.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Ruddy, (570) 963-4044

Participate in the Electric City Trolley Museum Trim-a-Tree Challenge

This holiday season the staff of The Electric City Trolley Museum is inviting a team of students of your choice plus an adult coordinator to participate in our 5th annual Electric City “Trim-a-Tree” Challenge.

Our Plan is to provide undecorated trees for your group to trim with your own decorations following a theme. This year’s theme is “Popular Board Games”. Clear light, 7-7.5 foot pre-lit trees will be available for trimming starting November 1st through November 24th. All participating students will receive a gift certificate for two for our 2022 season.

Cash prizes will be issued for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorable mention.
1st place: $275 gift card
2nd place: $225 gift card
3rd place: $175 gift card
Honorable Mention: $125 gift card

Winners will be determined by our visitors’ votes for their favorite tree. Participating school may collect money on their own at $1 per vote and/or encourage family, friends and school personnel etc. to come enjoy our museum plus all the trees at $2 admission and vote for their favorite tree. All participants and their families and friends are invited to a reception held in our museum on Thursday December 30th from 2 to 3 p.m. during which time all winners will be announced and gift certificates will be distributed.

Space for this event is limited so reservations are required. We will begin taking reservations on October 1st. If interested, please contact us with any questions and to reserve a tree. Reservations should be made no later than October 31st. Our museum is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone: 570-963-6590

Geisinger Runner-Up in National AI Health Outcomes Challenge

Geisinger has been named runner-up out of more than 300 entries in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge.

Geisinger partnered with Medial EarlySign, a leader in machine learning-based solutions to aid in early detection and prevention of high-burden diseases, to use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict unplanned hospital admissions, readmissions occurring soon after hospital discharge, healthcare-associated complications, and mortality. The two entities collaborated to develop models that predict the risk of these outcomes using Medicare administrative claims data and created novel visualizations to explain the results in a clinician-friendly manner, a key component of AI implementation.

“We are honored to be recognized as a national leader in using artificial intelligence to improve health outcomes,” said David Vawdrey, Geisinger’s chief data informatics officer. “The opportunity to participate in the CMS competition has significantly broadened our capabilities to design and implement predictive models, which will ultimately help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and complications and reduce healthcare costs.” 

Geisinger and EarlySign’s shared vision of innovation and their collective focus on patient-centered care garnered recognition by CMS for “consistent strong performance across all competition elements while generating the best prediction accuracy results.” Their ability to successfully communicate predictions to clinicians, known as AI explainability, was a key factor in their selection as runner-up.

“This achievement demonstrates the synergistic relationship Geisinger and EarlySign have in the journey to provide better care for patients,” said Ori Geva, co-founder and chief executive officer of Medial EarlySign. “This recognition is another validation that successful clinical AI solutions require deep understanding of clinical workflow, and expertise in clinical machine learning and clinical data.”

The CMS AI Health Outcomes Challenge launched in 2019 with more than 300 entities proposing AI solutions for predicting patient health outcomes. Submissions aimed to forecast a variety of outcomes, including unplanned admissions related to heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and various other high-risk conditions; and adverse events such as hospital-acquired infections, sepsis, and respiratory failure.

Geisinger was chosen as one of seven finalists in November 2020. To select the winner and runner-up, CMS conducted a rigorous evaluation process, supported by a team of AI scientists. Clinicians from the American Academy of Family Physicians, a CMS partner in the AI Challenge, reviewed and scored the models’ explainability. Submissions were reviewed and winners selected by a panel of CMS senior leadership. For more information on Geisinger’s work with artificial intelligence and machine learning, visit

The Dime Bank Announces PennCFL Challenge Winners

The Dime Bank is thrilled to announce winners of The Dime Bank sponsored Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy (PennCFL) Stock Market Challenge competition.

Paige Schmidt, a student at Honesdale High School under the leadership of Ms. Barbara Lutat, triumphed in the Pike & Wayne Stock Market Challenge competition by finishing in first place in the High School Division. Read More

Kevin Scissons, a student at Preston School under the leadership of Mr. Don Burchell, finished in first place in the Middle School Division. Read More

Lakota Kinney, a student at Damascus School under the leadership of Mr. Don Burchell, finished in second place in the Middle School Division. Read More

Logan Arthur, a student at Carbondale High School under the leadership of Ms. Licia Olivetti, finished in third place in the High School Division. Read More

Reilly McNish, a student at Wallenpaupack Area School District under the leadership of Mrs. Argyro Paspalas, finished in third place in the Middle School Division. Read More

Rosa SanClementi, a student from the Wallenpaupack Area School District, finished top ten in the state in the Spring Statewide 2021 Elementary School Division. Rosa worked under the leadership of her teacher, Mrs. Argyro Paspalas. Read More

Congratulations Paige, Kevin, Lakota, Logan, Reilly, Rosa, and their teachers Ms. Lutat, Mr. Burchell, Ms. Olivetti, and Mrs. Argyro Paspalas on job well done!

PennCFL provides to all students in grades K -12 in Pennsylvania a world-class, web-based stock simulation platform and curriculum. The cutting-edge, real-time stock game is derived from Stock-Trak’s University Platform, which is used in over 80% of the top business schools in the United States. The Dime Bank is proud to sponsor programs such as PennCFL that promotes financial education in our local schools.