Authority Opts Not To Evaluate
$346 Million in Transit Projects
Last year the Virginia General Assembly required Northern Virginia taxpayers to pay new regional taxes to provide new regional transportation funds.
Last night the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority nominated 52 projects totaling approximately $770 million as candidates for FY 2014 to FY 2016 regional transportation funding.
Thirty-three projects are highway investments totaling $423,452,810.
Nineteen are transit investments totaling $346,166,000.
The highway projects (55% of funding) will be evaluated by a two-tiered process to ensure they are regionally significant and measure the degree to which they reduce daily congestion and improve mobility in time of a homeland security emergency incident.
The transit projects (45% of funding) will not be evaluated for regional significance or congestion reduction. (The Authority rejected its Technical Advisory Committee's recommendation that some or all of the transit projects be evaluated.)
State law does not require mass transit projects that increase capacity to be evaluated for regional significance or congestion reduction potential. However, earning the taxpayers' trust and confidence that all regional transportation funds are being well-invested dictates that they should be.
Fact: 82% of all daily trips in this area are by automobile, 11% by walking or bicycle and 7% by bus or rail. Fact: Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William are Virginia’s top three largest counties. Fact: The combined population within Loudoun and Prince William counties’ borders (849,000) nearly equals that within the borders of the District of Columbia and Arlington County (860,000).