In a perfect and simpler world, transportation planning would be consolidated within one department and agency.
Since today’s world is neither perfect nor simple, transportation planning is dispersed at the state, regional, sub-regional and local levels and further by mode of travel.
In other words, no one entity or level has ultimate responsibility for planning.
Here is a look at the major planning organizations impacting transportation in Northern Virginia.
- Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) – A 17 member gubernatorial appointed body that establishes policy for Virginia’s transportation system. Duties include allocating transportation funding dollars to specific projects, preserving right-of-way for transportation corridors, and updating Virginia’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program.
- To visit the CTB’s website, click here.
- Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) – Is responsible for building, maintaining and operating the state’s 12,000 bridges, nearly 60,000 miles of roadway and numerous tunnels. Is also responsible for developing the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program, which includes CTB-designated projects and studies.
- To visit VDOT’s website, click here.
- Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT) – Is responsible for state planning for rail, public transit and commuter services (carpools, telework ad other alternative modes)
- To visit VDRPT’s website, click here.
Regional (Metro Washington area):
- National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) – Is the transportation arm of the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Washington D.C. area, including the District of Columbia, southern Maryland and northern Virginia. Its central responsibility is to develop and update the region’s fiscally Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP) and Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Projects must be in the CLRP and TIP to be eligible for federal funds.
- Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) – Is an independent, congressionally created body responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.
- To visit MWAA’s website, click here.
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) – Is a tri-state entity responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 106-mile Metrorail and 1,500 vehicle Metrobus systems. It's governing board consists of representatives from each member jurisdiction. MetroAccess, the agency’s paratransit system for citizens with special needs, provides about 1.5 million trips per year.
- To visit WMATA’s website, click here.
(Sub-Regional) Northern Virginia:
- Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) – Created by the Virginia General Assembly in 2002, NVTA is charged with preparing a regional long range transportation plan for Northern Virginia and setting regional transportation priorities.
- Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) – This six-member jurisdiction commission manages and coordinates public transit and commuter rail operations in Northern Virginia.
- To visit NVTC’s website, click here.
- Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) – A multi-jurisdictional agency that operates and coordinates commuter (OmniRide) and local Omnilink) bus service in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. In partnership with NVTC, it also operates Virginia Railway Express service for these jurisdictions as well as Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg.
- To visit PRTC’s website, click here.
- Virginia Railway Express (VRE) – A transportation partnership between the NVTC and PRTC that provides commuter rail service from Fredericksburg and Manassas to Alexandria, Crystal City and downtown Washington, D.C. VRE operates 29 trains from 18 stations on 90 miles of track and averages 16,500 passengers daily.The stystem connects to Metro at five locations and to Amtrak at 7 locations.
- To visit VRE's website, click here.