Some of you may have seen media reports recently that reference the state panel that is calling for new transit funding.  This is stemming from a report that was released in late August from the Transit Capital Project Revenue Advisory Board that was created last year.  (http://drpt.virginia.gov/media/2214/final-rab-report-to-ga.pdf

This is not a mere study that will collect dust on the shelf.  Action is needed! This whole effort was spurred by an impending crisis for transit capital.  Transit capital is anything really that is not operations including bus replacements, technology, replacement facilities such as shelters, and of course, expansions for new routes and service. 

You may wonder why this is happening.  There are several reasons but primarily ten years ago the state authorized bonds to fund transportation and now those bonds are maturing and the bond revenue will cease beginning in 2019.  After that, new revenue sources will need to be tapped or localities will need to step up to cover the state’s share or possibly cut service.  And we all know that is a heavy lift!  And at the same time we have a funding crisis for WMATA, Metro’s parent organization.

Right now we are in the thick of a busy campaign season but after Election Day on November 7th, we will want to educate the winning candidates on what is at stake with transit.  VTA will be reaching out to the statewide and new House members on the issue but we also know that our activists often have more contact at the local level.  We ask that you help us to advocate for transit funding whenever and wherever you find yourself in contact with decision-makers.  We have produced transit overviews for all areas of the state that should help you with talking points.   Please review them here

We are setting the stage at this point for the 2018 General Assembly session.  (Transit Legislative Advocacy Day is Monday, January 22!) Our Transit Action Network activists will be invited to join us at the state capitol to visit their legislators.  We also ask that you serve as transit ambassadors in your community.  You have VTA’s commitment that we will provide you with the information and tools you will need to feel knowledgeable and empowered to speak out.  Public transportation is critical to Virginia’s future and we acknowledge and thank you for joining VTA’s efforts to serve as its voice when it matters most.