|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 16, 2021CONTACT:
NVTC Encourages Public to Provide Feedback on Proposed Transportation Projects
The Commuter Choice program opens a public comment period from April 16 to May 17
Arlington, VA – The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) announces the opening of the public comment period for the Commuter Choice program, an innovative program that improves the Northern Virginia transportation network by investing toll revenues into public transit and other multimodal projects along two expressway corridors, I-66 and I-395/95. NVTC requests feedback on the 13 proposals put forth by local jurisdictions and transit agencies for this year’s competitive funding round. The proposals, submitted by Fairfax County, Prince William County, Spotsylvania County, DASH, FRED Transit and OmniRide, have a total funding request of $21.9 million. Virginia residents are asked to weigh in on the projects before the May 17 deadline.
Each project aims to move more people and expand transportation options in the I-395/95 corridor between the Virginia-D.C. line and Spotsylvania County. The proposals focus on continuing previously-funded bus service improvements, expanding local bus routes that have continued to serve essential trips during the COVID-19 public health emergency, increasing park-and-ride capacity to meet long-term demand and rebuilding vanpool ridership in the corridor.
“As the region prepares to commute once again, we’re here to offer solutions,” said NVTC Chair Katie Cristol, “When people return to work, the Commuter Choice program will ensure that buses, vanpools and other options are ready to greet them.” Approved projects will improve the efficiency and reliability of travel by efficiently moving more people.
NVTC requests feedback on the proposed projects beginning on April 16, 2021, and continuing until 5 p.m. on May 17, 2021. NVTC published with route maps and technical evaluations on the website and will host a Virtual Town Hall on April 28 to answer questions and get feedback on the proposals. Visit the public comment page at www.novatransit.org/CCcomments (*link now expired) for ways to submit comments and learn more about the Commuter Choice program.
The Commuter Choice program on the I-395/95 corridor is the result of a 68-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) and the Commonwealth of Virginia authorizing NVTC to use the required annual payments for corridor transit improvements from Transurban, the 395 Express Lanes concessionaire, to fund multimodal transportation projects. Commuter Choice has funded 43 projects, some of which have received multiple installments of funding support and has provided over $64.3 million of investment of toll revenues into transit and multimodal improvements since it began in 2017. About half of the program’s funding ($29.1 million) has been for long-lived capital assets, including bus purchases, park-and-ride construction and capital improvements to bus stops.