Virginia CTB Advances Intermodal, Transit Initiatives

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) recently approved a Rail Industrial Access Grant for Norfolk Terminal LP, and adopted the framework to advance the state’s Transit Ridership Incentive Program (TRIP).

The $450,000 grant to Norfolk Terminal LP, through the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) Rail Industrial Access Grant program, is for construction of a new rail yard at its expanding facility. The grant “will enhance the company’s $61 million capital investment project to receive, store, package and ship products through the Port of Virginia,” CTB said. “Norfolk Terminal’s 10,815-foot rail siding is expected to remove approximately 10,200 trucks from Virginia’s highways per year through utilizing the rail network. The construction of the industrial sidetrack is critical to Norfolk Terminal’s phase one capacity expansion, which will create 31 jobs. The company is partnering with the City of Norfolk on workforce development, focusing on hiring individuals transitioning from active military duty as well as graduates of local colleges with degrees in maritime or logistics.”

“The Rail Industrial Access program is an important tool to support Virginia’s efforts to attract jobs that have access to the Commonwealth’s multimodal transportation assets,” said DRPT Director Jennifer Mitchell.“We are proud to partner with Norfolk Terminal, LP, on this expansion to increase the company’s rail capacity to the Virginia Port while hiring local talent.”

The CTB also approved a policy for implementing a TRIP (Transit Ridership Incentive Program), which will allow DRPT to move forward to solicit applications for FY22 funding. “This program has two distinct goals: 1) improving the regional connectivity of urban areas;  and 2) increasing the ridership and accessibility of transit throughout the Commonwealth, specifically for low income populations,” CTB said. “The policy adopted by the Board provides the framework for the implementation of the program including eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria.” 

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Omnibus Transportation bill, carried by Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn (D-HB1414) and Virginia State Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-SB890) and passed during the 2020 General Assembly Session, creates and provides dedicated funding for TRIP.

Appointed by the governor, the 17-member Commonwealth Transportation Board establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia’s transportation system. 

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