July 1, 2014
The elected leaders of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville were able to tackle a range of issues when they met for the first time in years. One of their biggest questions was what to do about the future of public transportation in our area.
One decision was a verbal agreement to move forward with trying to create a Regional Transit Authority again.
City Councilor Kathy Galvin says it would be able to make decisions specifically targeting our area.
"The Regional Transportation Authority is both a vehicle that would raise funds to support the transportation infrastructure but it’s also a planning and management entity as well."
"It’s more about public transportation, so it’s not going to solve our road construction problems. But in terms of expanding our public transportation, and then over time allowing us to evolve into express bus and bus rapid transit.”
She says Supervisor Brad Sheffield told the group it might become less of a decision of choice.
"There are thresholds that you cross with the federal government funding transportation. And if you reach a certain threshold that’s when the federal government gets to say you are big enough to take care of federal funding of your transportation infrastructure on your own."
It’s not the first time they've tried to create a Regional Transportation Authority. Back in 2006 the Metropolitan Planning Organization approved a resolution to start one. Ultimately, at the time, the funding wasn't there.
So what is the next step? Two supervisors and two councilors will have sit downs to come up with a game plan for how to make this thing happen. Then the General Assembly will have to sign off on raising money for it.