Member Briefing: June 21, 2019

Here is a brief weekly update from the RTA business coalition – the voice of the regional business community on transportation.

RTA tour – a success, in so many ways
RTA led a delegation of more than 60 Triangle-area leaders to Richmond, Alexandria, and Arlington, Virginia this week to look at transit options. Elected, business, university, and community leaders alike were impressed with bus rapid transit infrastructure and service in both central and northern Virginia – both for what they saw and learned about, and also for the potential in our region.

We viewed the Crystal City – Potomac Yard Transitway in both Alexandria and Arlington and the Richmond Pulse in Virginia’s capital city. and discussed transit frequency, funding, land use, and more. We also learned about the upcoming Montgomery County (Md.) FLASH which opens within the year. In addition, we explored a very effective commuter rail system – the Virginia Railway Express, which gets more than 50% of its operating revenue from fares, and relieves major freeways including I-95 during peak periods. 

This 36-hour regional business community-led briefing and tour – we held it in concert with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro – will inform the next steps for transit in the western Triangle. Kudos to our founding chambers and for everyone who attended or followed along via Twitter.

Chamber of commerce leaders speak of our transit opportunity
The executives of our founding chambers of commerce from the western Triangle, who both planned and attended the RTA tour, had this to say about the future of transit in our market:

  • “I am more optimistic than ever about the future of regional transit. The goal of the regional business community for the visit is to inspire vision and action for accelerating enhanced transit in the western Triangle and across our region.” – Geoff Durham, President and CEO, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce
  • “My view is that we need less patience and more optimism about our mobility future. There is great freedom and the opportunity to plan entirely differently now, and I think bus rapid transit is the way to go to connect us more flexibly. We will learn from best practices in Virginia and Maryland, and the business community has a responsibility to lead.” – Aaron Nelson, President and CEO, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro

Aaron, Geoff, and I spoke to WUNC earlier today. Here is a link to the interview about the tour.

Thank you to each of our members who have worked to advance transit in each county and across our entire market. Like Geoff and Aaron, I have never felt better about the future of transit in our region. Together, we will get our region moving better, faster. Thank you for your membership.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

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