The work of the Transit Capital Project Revenue Advisory Board which was created last session is continuing their work to examine the causes of the transit capital funding “cliff” and to recommend solutions to generate additional revenue and prioritize the projects. They conclude their work in August, 2017 so we anticipate possible funding bills for the 2018 session. VTA, in collaboration with Southeastern Institute of Research, has produced a video that highlights the benefits of transit to Virginia’s economy and also identifies the consequences of a failure to provide additional transit capital funding. Please take a few minutes to view the video featuring several of our transit CEOs. There is also an accompanying infographic that our friends at NVTC designed for us. We ask that you put this presentation on your next Board agenda and educate your local officials on what is at stake.
There have been a number of important transportation bills over the past several years that have impacted transit and transit funding. While there are no anticipated overarching funding bills for 2017, there are some critical bills nonetheless. We expect bills on establishing a regional gas tax floor, the Metro Safety Commission, and authorization for fare inspection enforcement. Bills are continuing to appear on the Legislative Information System daily so VTA will soon prepare a bill chart that we will update regularly.
The VTA legislative overview, the policy “white papers” and talking points, and the bill chart are posted on our website under the Member Center tab under Legislative Watch. You must sign in as a member to view these materials. If you have not set up your login and need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. (804) 643-1166
Please mark Monday, January 23 on your calendars as Public Transportation Legislative Advocacy Day at the Capitol.
We’ll start with a Legislative Briefing in the General Assembly Building (Committee Room 5-East) from 10-11 a.m. Along with our friends, Virginians for High Speed Rail, we will review the public transportation legislative and budget priorities and offer talking points to help participants communicate effectively with their Delegates and Senators. We may even have some legislators stop in to welcome our group. We will encourage participants to visit their legislators in the afternoon (Making appointments with legislative offices in advance is highly recommended but not essential.) This briefing is free of charge and is open to any transit/rail supporter. So please help us grow participation and spread the word to your riders and local supporters.
To effectively plan for material preparations, we ask that participants register in advance here.
Later that day VTA will host our annual “Transportation Choices” Legislative Reception. We’re excited that our reception this year will be at the Main Street train station, thanks to the support of the City of Richmond. Since Main Street Station is a little further to walk, GRTC and JAUNT have graciously volunteered to provide courtesy shuttle buses to transport guests to and fro. VRE is also planning to have one of their trains come down for tours. If you haven’t heard about Main Street’s new train shed that will be opening in the spring, read more here about this exciting new venture. We will be among the fortunate few to get a preview of the space. A guided tour of the shed and the VRE train will run from 5-5:30 or later into the evening. Then, starting at 5:30, we’ll move inside the station for the reception. We’re bringing back that delicious Buz and Ned’s BBQ and Virginia craft beers and wines and other favorite beverages. This is a great opportunity to mix and meet with colleagues, transit General Managers, agency heads, city officials, and of course, legislators and their staffers. Governor McAuliffe even joined us last year!
As always, our reception is free of charge to our guests and representatives of VTA member organizations, businesses, or individuals. To help with the expenses related to this event, we depend on the generosity of sponsors. Please join us in thanking our Silver, Gold, and Platinum sponsors listed on our home page who make this event possible!
Transit supporters can’t always be at the capitol when bills are considered but elected officials want to hear their views. By signing up to join the Transit Action Network, you will receive timely alerts when important decisions affecting public transportation are about to be made. Whether it’s the U.S. Congress, the Governor, the Virginia General Assembly, or your local governing body, you can contact them with the click of a button on your computer or mobile device to let your voice be heard.
By signing up, you will become an important member of our e-Action network. You will only receive alerts when action is needed and your email will not be shared or used for any other purpose. If you find you can no longer participate, you can unsubscribe at any time.
So the next time funding for transit is under attack or a vote on a proposed BRT is near, your voice will matter!
Tell a friend! Help us to spread the word about the Transit Action Network through social media, emails to your transit riders and bus banners. We are all stronger together!