Loudoun Board To Push State For VRT Funding - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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Loudoun Board To Push State For VRT Funding

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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 11:40 am | Updated: 11:54 am, Fri Feb 15, 2013.

The Board of Supervisors will make a push in the General Assembly to secure funding needed to keep Virginia Regional Transit's Loudoun operations up and running. To help with county staff members’ efforts, supervisors want to ask the county’s state lobbyists to ask that additional state funding be included in the transportation bill.

The board’s Transportation/Land Use Committee voted unanimously Friday morning, with Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) absent, to recommend the full board ratify that position. The board is expected to take it up at its Feb. 20.

In January, almost two years after the 2010 Census data was released, Virginia Regional Transit representatives were informed that a reclassification of Loudoun to an urban cluster makes it unlikely to continue receiving 5311 funding—federal funding for public transportation in rural areas. If nothing can be done, VRT would lose funding for its Loudoun operations at the end of September.

Under the new classification area roughly east of Rt. 15, including the Town of Leesburg, has been identified as urban.

With that change, the county loses not only the federal funding, but also access to the state funds that go along with it. Under the current system all the money has gone directly to VRT. But with the new classification all money would have to go to the county government and the county would have to allocate it to VRT, County Administrator Tim Hemstreet said.

“We have applied directly to the state for funding to be provided to us,” he said. “We are not sure how much that will be.”

Hemstreet said county staff members also are working to determine how much money it would cost to maintain the current level of service. The state funding question leaves the final tally in flux, he said.

“We will come to you with a package most likely by your first budget work session on March 4,” he said.

Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg), who put forward the motion, pointed out that the Town of Leesburg has been working diligently on the funding problem, even traveling repeatedly to Richmond.

“I think it is incumbent upon this Board of Supervisors to work more closely with our delegation,” he said. “We have an opportunity with both of these bills going to conference to provide at least some level of funding.”

Welcome to the discussion.


  • sarwood posted at 5:58 pm on Mon, Feb 18, 2013.

    sarwood Posts: 77

    What is the source you are quoting on those figures, norges55?

    But, assuming you are correct about the numbers -- then consider some possibilities. First, how DOES a county like Arlington provide first rate convenient bus service the way it obviously does? We should research their process, charges and scheduling.

    Perhaps fees could be raised... & ridership increased with better and more comprehensive scheduling. Raise business adv. rates on buses and in the shelters.... plus PR advertising to make riding the bus "cool." (Marketing folks know how to do this -- it's not hard).

    Moreover, what would be the cost of having at least 550k former bus riders on the roads in individual cars? We are already choking in traffic and we haven't even begun to see the increase due to the Silver Line.

  • norges55 posted at 1:20 pm on Fri, Feb 15, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    5.4 million dollars for 550k riders. Do the math and you will be against the metrobus! The riders pay 50 cents a ride. That comes to a difference of over 9 dollars a rider that the taxpayer is funding per rider. C'mon man, skin the board members!