Powers and Functions
Senate Bill 576, approved by the General Assembly on April 17, 2002, amended the Code of Virginia and created the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. The Bill added a chapter (numbered 48.2) to Title 15.2 which describes the purpose and powers of the new Authority. Below is a “plain language” summary of excepts from the chapter relating to the Authority’s mission.
The Authority has the following powers and functions:
- The Authority shall prepare a regional transportation plan for Planning District Eight, to include, but not necessarily be limited to, transportation improvements of regional significance, and shall from time to time revise and amend the plan.
- Once the plan is adopted, the Authority may construct or otherwise implement the transportation facilities in the plan.
- The Authority may contract with others to provide transportation facilities or to operate its facilities, or it may provide and/or operate such facilities itself.
- The Authority does not have the power to regulate services provided by taxicabs.
- The Authority may acquire land for the purposes of providing transportation facilities or services. The land can be for the Authority’s use in providing transportation facilities or services, or it can be transferred to another agency for use by that agency in connection with an adopted transportation plan.
- The Authority may prepare a plan for mass transportation services and may contract with others to provide the necessary facilities, equipment, operations, etc., needed to implement the plan.
The Authority shall embrace the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.
The Authority will have a technical advisory committee to provide recommendations on the development of transportation projects, funding strategies and other matters as directed by the Authority. The Authority also shall have a planning coordination advisory committee. The Authority may, in its discretion, form additional advisory committees.
The Authority shall be responsible for long-range transportation planning for regional transportation projects in Northern Virginia. In carrying out this responsibility, the Authority shall, on the basis of a regional consensus, whenever possible, set regional transportation policies and priorities for regional transportation projects. The policies and priorities shall be guided by performance-based criteria such as the ability to improve travel times, reduce delays, connect regional activity centers, improve safety, improve air quality and move the most people in the most cost-effective manner.
The Authority shall report annually its expenditures to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in Northern Virginia.
Other responsibilities of the Authority include:
- General oversight of regional programs involving mass transit or congestion mitigation, including, but not necessarily limited to, carpooling, vanpooling, and ridesharing. Long-range regional planning, both financially constrained and unconstrained.
- Recommending to state, regional, and federal agencies regional transportation priorities, including public-private transportation projects, and funding allocations.
- Developing, in coordination with affected counties and cities, regional priorities and policies to improve air quality.
- Allocating to priority regional transportation projects any funds made available to the Authority and, at the discretion of the Authority, directly overseeing such projects.
- Recommending to the Commonwealth Transportation Board priority regional transportation projects for receipt of federal and state funds.
- Recommending to the Commonwealth Transportation Board use and/or changes in use of tolls for facilities in the area embraced by the Authority.
- General oversight of regional transportation issues of a multi-jurisdictional nature, including but not limited to intelligent transportation systems, signalization, and preparation for and response to emergencies.
- Serving as an advocate for the transportation needs of Northern Virginia before the state and federal governments.
- Applying to federal, state and other public and private agencies for grants or other contributions toward the Authority’s mission of improving transportation facilities and services in Northern Virginia.
- Acting as a “responsible public entity” for the purpose of the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance and/or operation of a “qualifying transportation facility” under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995.
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The Timeline of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority
July 1, 2002 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is created by the Virginia General Assembly Senate Bill 576.
July 18, 2002 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority holds its first official meeting and elects J. Kenneth Klinge, serving as the NVTA’s Governor’s Appointee from the Commonwealth Transportation Board, as its first Chairman.
July 8, 2004 – David F. Snyder, member of the Falls Church City Council, is elected Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Christopher Zimmerman, member of the Arlington County Board, is elected Vice Chairman.
September 14, 2006 – Christopher Zimmerman, Chairman of the Arlington County Board, is elected Chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Martin E. Nohe, member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, is elected Vice Chairman.
September 14, 2006 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s TransAction 2030, an update to the Transportation Coordinating Council’s TransAction 2020, is adopted.
February 1, 2007 – Elected officials in Northern Virginia hold a press conference at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond to officially announce the adopted “five principles” to guide the region and legislators during the 2007 General Assembly. All agree that a permanent dedicated funding source for transportation is needed to meet the Commonwealth’s future economic competitive needs.
July 1, 2007 – Through the passage of House Bill 3202, the Virginia General Assembly enabled the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to raise and collect up to seven taxes and fees to use solely for transportation purposes benefiting those counties and cities that are embraced by the Authority. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority initiates the implementation of these revenues.
July 13, 2007 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority filed a bond validation suit in the Circuit Court of Arlington in order to allow the courts to consider and affirm the constitutionality of the Authority, provided by the General Assembly in HB 3202, and to issue the debt to fund the list of approved projects.
January 10, 2008 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority appoints John Mason as its first Executive Director.
February 29, 2008 – The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the General Assembly may not delegate its taxing power to a non-elected body such as NVTA . . . . Therefore, such taxes and fees that NVTA has already imposed are null and void.
March 6, 2008 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority begins the process of returning approximately $30 million to the taxpayers.
September 30, 2008 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s staff is disbanded and the Authority continues to function as a member supported organization with a virtual lease on office space.
December 11, 2008 – Martin E. Nohe, member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is elected chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. William D. Euille, Mayor of the City Alexandria, is elected Vice Chairman.
January 13, 2011 – Martin E. Nohe is reelected as chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. William D. Euille is reelected Vice Chairman. Scott York, Chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, is elected Secretary/Treasurer.
February 9, 2012 – Martin E. Nohe is reelected as chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. William D. Euille is reelected Vice Chairman.
April 18, 2012 – The Virginia General Assembly approved and the Governor signed House Bill 599, establishing responsibilities for the Northern Virginia Transportation District, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, to evaluate all significant transportation projects in and near the Northern Virginia Transportation District, including both highway and mass transit projects, and provide an objective, quantitative rating for each project
November 8, 2012 – TransAction 2040, the third update to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s long range transportation plan, is adopted.
March 8, 2013 – Martin E. Nohe is reelected as chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. William D. Euille is reelected Vice Chairman.
April 3, 2013 – The Virginia General Assembly approved and the Governor signed House Bill 2313, a comprehensive transportation funding bill for Planning District 8 to be known as the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Fund. Unlike the 2007 legislation all taxes and fees were imposed by the General Assembly.
April 2013 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority issues the FY2014 Call for Projects to be funded by House Bill 2313 regional revenues.
July 1, 2013 – Dedicated revenues begin to flow from the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
July 24, 2013 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approves the first year of transportation projects. These thirty four (34) projects were valued at $209,793,000. Projects being funded as “Pay-Go” valued $116,058,000. Projects being financed as part of a bond package were valued at $93,735,000.
July 25, 2013 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority files a bond validation suit to validate the bonds as binding, valid and legally payable obligations.
December 12, 2013 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approves the Memorandum of Agreement between NVTA, the counties, cities and appropriate towns for distribution of the 30 percent funding under Chapter 766 requirements for the local House Bill 2313 revenues.
December 12, 2013 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority issues the FY2015-16 Call for Projects to be funded by House Bill 2313 regional revenues.
January 23, 2014 – Martin E. Nohe is reelected as chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. William D. Euille is reelected Vice Chairman.
April 6, 2014 – The Virginia General Assembly approved and the Governor signed House Bill 2, establishing a statewide prioritization process for state funded transportation project programming and funding.
April 7, 2014 – The Virginia Supreme Court issues a letter to the Clerk of Fairfax County Circuit Court stating “no petition for appeal was filed for the case of Northern Virginia Transportation Authority v. Statutory Defendants (No. CL-2013-11988) and the time allowed within the law to file such an appeal has expired.” The Virginia Supreme Court has returned the record in the case and the Authority considers this matter closed.
April 17, 2014 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approves its first Standard Project Agreement for the FY2014 regional transportation project for the Transit Alternatives Analysis Study of the Route 7 Corridor (King Street, Alexandria to Tysons Corner Phase II).
April 30, 2014 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority hires Executive Director Monica Backmon, who had been working with the Authority in her role as chair of the Authority’s Jurisdiction and Agency Coordinating Committee.
October 9, 2014 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority hosts a public listening session to launch the process of updating the long range transportation plan, TransAction 2040.
October 24, 2014 – The members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority hold an all-day work session at Historic Blenheim in the City of Fairfax. At the end of the session, NVTA reaches consensus on the guiding principles of “long term benefits” and how the House Bill 2313 legislation will be applied to transportation projects in the future.
November 15, 2014 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority submits the 2014 Annual Report to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability.
November 20, 2014 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is awarded AA+/Aa1/AA+ bond ratings by Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, respectively, for its Transportation Special Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2014. All ratings were given a stable outlook.
December 5, 2014 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority offers its first bond offering.
January 22, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority holds its Annual Organizational Meeting with a Public Comment period. Martin E. Nohe is reelected as chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. William D. Euille is reelected Vice Chairman.
February 26, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority releases its 2014 Inaugural Annual Report.
March 23, 2015 – The Virginia General Assembly approved and the Governor signed House Bill 1470, Including transit projects in those transportation projects that will be rated by VDOT inaccordance with § 33.2-257 before they are funded by the Authority. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2016.
March 25, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority holds a Public Hearing on its draft FY2015-16 Two Year Program, with over 100 attendees.
March 27, 2015 – The Virginia General Assembly approved and the Governor signed House Bill 1887, the Governor’s Transportation Bill. It addresses the Commonwealth Transportation Board membership, transportation funding, updates, annual reporting and allocations.
April 23, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority adopts its FY2015-16 Two Year Program representing a total funding package of $345.9 million for regional transportation improvements in Northern Virginia.
May 11, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority breaks ground on a series of Route 28 widening and improvement projects
May 28, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority advances the final FY2014 Program SPAs, completing the agreements for the FY2014 Program.
June 25, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority receives a briefing on the Transform I-66 Project from VA Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne, Jr.
July 23, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority approved the contract for and launches the Update of TransAction 2040.
September 21, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority celebrates a ribbon cutting ceremony for 23 new bus purchases funded through the Authority’s FY2014-16 Programs.
September 24, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority issues the Call for Projects for the FY2017 Program.
October 8, 2015 – The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority launches its new website.