CharlAlbemarle Transit Authority – What’s Next?

Thanks to Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Sean Tubbs:

The fate of a proposed Regional Transit Authority (RTA) could depend on who is selected in January to represent the City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on two regional transportation bodies. Since a joint meeting in February 2008, local officials have been pursuing the creation of a new authority to operate and expand local bus service.

Supervisor David Slutzky, a chief proponent of the RTA, was defeated in his bid for re-election to Albemarle’s Rio District seat earlier this month. Slutzky sits on both the MPO policy board and a committee created to guide the transition from a Charlottesville-owned bus system to one operated by an independent RTA. The RTA working group last met in May of this year.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed a bill authorizing Charlottesville and Albemarle to create a transit authority, but a companion bill that may have provided a funding source for enhanced service did not make it out of committee. That legislation would have authorized a referendum in which city and country residents would have voted on a sales tax increase to pay the RTA’s operating and capital costs.

Among the questions to be answered is how much it will cost to implement the new authority and how assets of the Charlottesville Transit Service would be transferred to the RTA.

The Charlottesville/Albemarle region needs some form of transit that helps alleviate the traffic and congestion that, while not as bad as other areas (Northern Virginia/LA/etc) – is bad by Charlottesville standards – and frankly, those are the standards that matter to me.

We need some forward-thinking action by those whom we have elected and those who have elected to serve. I encourage the new Supervisors and Councilor to appoint people who will be focused on accomplishing something other than increasing their own political capital. God help us if the only action coming from these groups are more studies.

* The Charlottesville Tomorrow story also appeared in the Daily Progress. I pulled from the Charlottesville Tomorrow story because it provided something the DP story didn’t – links and context within the story.

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