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Column: Route 1 Transit Study Moves Forward

In 2011, I introduced and got passed a bill to initiate and fund the Route 1 Transit Study in both Fairfax and Prince William counties. I am pleased to report that actions have been taken to move this initiative forward. Prince William County will propose a plan for their section of Route 1 and Fairfax Country a proposal for their part of Route 1.

In Fairfax, the Fairfax Department of Transportation is going to perform an alternative analysis study to recommend various ways to assist with transit in this area. They have applied for a $2 million grant from the Federal Transit Authority. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit has made available $500,000 to assist with the alternative analysis study. Completing this alternative study is key to receiving Federal funding whether it is bus rapid transit, eventually metro, or any other type of transit service. The Federal Transit Authority should be making its decision whether to grant financial assistance with the transit analysis in July. It will take two years to do the transit analysis in Fairfax.

Congressman Jim Moran was able to obtain $180 million in Federal funding to provide congestion relief caused by the new community hospital at Ft. Belvoir between Woodlawn Plantation south to Telegraph Road. Now that the hospital is open there will be many more trips to and from Belvoir by staff and patients going to the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And, in that project they are saving right of way for future transit so it will be ready to hook up with whatever transit is decided on and eventually built.

In other areas along Route 1, the Fairfax Department of Transportation is building shelters for passengers who use the bus or some other type of rapid transit that may come as well as much needed pedestrian improvements. A transit center will also be built on Route 1, but no site has been selected. The Fairfax Department of Transportation has been working with the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC), with County Supervisors Gerry Hyland and Jeff McKay, and others to come up with a site agreed upon by the surrounding communities.

Things are moving forward albeit slowly. The alternative study must be completed to receive Federal funding. We are pushing ahead to keep this project going to provide some relief to this long-time congested area.

By Linda T. “Toddy” Puller

State Senator (D-36)