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                       WELCOME to the VIRGINIA TRANSIT ASSOCIATION!

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VTA Upcoming Events:

Fueling Alternatives for Shuttle Transportation: Showcases March 12 & April 18 Click Here for Details

 May 20-21 – VTA Annual Conference; Williamsburg

 Click to Register for the VTA Conference! Ft.Magruder.Cannon

Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center

6945 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185

(757) 220-2250

 

Federal News

FTA Seeks Comment on Policy Guidance

FTA invites public comment through May 8 on interim policy guidance the agency is proposing for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program. The proposed interim guidance was published in the Federal Register on April 8 and has been placed in the docket.

If adopted, this proposed interim policy guidance will complement FTA’s regulations that govern the CIG program by providing a deeper level of detail about the methods for applying the project justification and local financial commitment criteria for rating and evaluating New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Improvement projects and the procedures for getting through the steps in the process required by law.

Submit comments on the guidance, DOT docket number FTA-2015-0007, here.

 

The federal DOT has extended the deadline for comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal Awards and its Notice of Contracting Initiative pilot program until May 6.
Additional comments from APTA on the NPRM can be found here.

Direct comments to FTA/DOT should be filed here.

 

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Apportionments for Fiscal Year 2015 Announced
…to read the article click here.

Obama’s Budget Includes 6-Year, $478 Billion Authorization Plan; Allocates $144 Billion for Public Transit…to read the article click here.

 

Stand Up 4 Transportation Day of Action Success

Transit advocates across the country stood up for transportation on April 9th to send a strong me

ssage to Congress that it’s time for them to act on a multi-year surface transportation authorization to fund critical infrastructure.  Without action, the current MAP 21 authorization will expire at the end of May.

Thank you for those transit agencies in Virginia who hosted special events with elected officials, transit riders, and the media to highlight the importance of what’s at stake!  Without federal funding, 59 mostly-rural transit agencies could shut down!

 

State News

The 2015 General Assembly Session adjourned on Friday, February 27. The reconvened “Veto” session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15. For more information, click here to go to the General Assembly homepage.

VTA strongly supports HB 1887 (Patron – Delegate Chris Jones) that passed both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates and has now been signed into law by Governor McAuliffe.

 

 

This is the Omnibus transportation bill that overhauls the transportation funding formula to get more funds back to the local construction districts, strengthens the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and most importantly for transit, provides $40 million in capital funding for essential services like replacing aging buses and rehabilitating track.

 

Thank you to Governor McAuliffe and Delegate Jones for their leadership on this bill. Without it, we were facing a 62% projected drop in capital funding expected in the next 2 to 3 years.

For HB 2 updates, visit the HB 2 webpage here.

 

VTrans2040 Multimodal Plan Process

  VTrans is the long‐range, statewide multimodal policy plan that provides the overarching vision and goals for transportation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VTrans2040 will include two components. The first component, currently available for review, is the VTrans2040 Vision Plan. The Vision Plan includes updated Vision, Goals, Objectives, and Guiding Principles that reflect the priorities and concerns of stakeholders across the Commonwealth. A robust trends analysis has also contributed to the plan’s focus on our changing socioeconomic dynamics and a range of future issues. It identifies transportation conditions and trends and anticipated growth patterns, and explores the demographic, economic, environmental and technological trends anticipated over the coming years and their potential influence on transportation.

 

The second component is the VTrans2040 Multimodal Transportation Plan (VMTP), which is currently under development and will include a continued outreach effort and multiple opportunities for input from all stakeholders. The VMTP will build on the Vision Plan by identifying multimodal transportation needs and recommendations for 2025, as well as a discussion of potential future scenarios for 2040.

 

An extensive and interactive public involvement process has been employed to facilitate plan development and gather feedback from key stakeholders, cooperating agencies, and the general public. The draft Vision Plan has been made available for public comment to continue this outreach effort and gather feedback from all Virginian’s.

 

The draft report will be available on the web at http://www.vtrans.org/vtrans2040.asp . The public is invited to review this document and provide comments through the comment portal on the VTrans website.  The comment period begins on March 24, 2015 and ends on April 24, 2015.

 

 

Local News

Bus service growing in Colonial Heights
The expanded bus route through Colonial Heights is already showing an increase in ridership…read the entire article
here.

450 fewer parking places to be eliminated for Broad rapid transit system
The newly named Pulse bus rapid transit system would eliminate 450 fewer parking places than originally anticipated under two plans officials hope to roll out next week…to continue reading, click here.

Pulaski Area Transit starts new Christiansburg route
Pulaski Area Transit started a new route to Christiansburg on Wednesday — to give people in Pulaski more access to health care facilities, shopping malls, the New River Community College location at the New River Valley Mall and to the SmartWay bus service…to continue reading, click
here.

 

 

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 VTA Asks Governor McAuliffe to Sign HB 1887 into Law

VTA strongly supports HB 1887 (Patron – Del. Chris Jones) that passed both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates and is now on its way to the Governor. 

This transportation Omnibus bill provides an estimated $40M annually for transit capital to address a 62% drop in funding expected to occur in the next 2-3 years. The bill does not rely on new or increased revenues; it redirects existing transportation resources (a portion of the recent gas tax increase and 1 cent of the recordation tax) and goes into effect July 1, 2016 (FY17)

HB 1887 helps fund about half of the projected capital needs. Passage of this pro-active measure will help avert a crisis beginning in 2018. Transit systems and local governments are already planning their capital needs beyond that horizon. They know that significant increases in local funds will be required to meet transit capital needs and those may have to compete with other capital needs such as schools. Some may have to cut essential services needed to connect people to jobs, school, medical appointments, and businesses.

Some of our rural and small urban transit systems will likely be the most impacted by funding reductions. With no new capital, funding for new bus engines, passenger shelters, support vehicles, and construction of maintenance facilities will not be possible.

Our transit needs are rising due to increased population, higher ridership, and aging demographics, especially in rural areas. Without new funding, capital funds in 2021 will be $135 million lower than in 2013.

 

barReal estate—residential, commercial or business—that is served by public transportation is valued more highly by the public than similar properties not as well served by transit.

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