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12/19/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

More funds needed for northern Virginia's public transportation, regional commission says


Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) recently approved its 2004 legislative agenda.

The commission’s primary goal is to obtain increased funding for public transit in northern Virginia and convince the General Assembly to give the state more flexibility to pursue new transit funding sources.

NVTC has proposed a 10-cent increase to the statewide motor-fuel user fee, with all proceeds going to the Transportation Trust Fund. The measure is estimated to increase transit funding $70 million annually.

The commission also proposed a 2 percent increase to the motor fuel tax, which would increase transit funding another $20 million annually.

"Local governments are required to pay a great share for our transit services. Our funding partners at the state and local levels need to meet their responsibilities," said NVTC Chairman Elaine McConnell.

The funds are key to Virginia Railway Express, which is co-owned by NVTC. The transit agency is experiencing 20 percent annual ridership growth, and soon will reach capacity.





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