SUPPORT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - JOIN THE TRANSIT ACTION NETWORK
As a supporter of public transportation, you are invited to sign up to be a Transit Action Network Activist! We at the Virginia Transit Association serve as the collective voice for transit community and need YOU to join and strengthen our efforts to promote transit with our elected officials. We promise not to overwhelm your inbox with loads of messages but alert you when it is the right time to communicate with your state or federal representatives. When a bill is up for consideration, we will send you an action alert that, with a click of your mouse, is ready to send to your own legislators. It’s that easy!
Some of you may have seen media reports recently that reference the state panel that is calling for new transit funding. This is stemming from a report that was released in late August from the Transit Capital Project Revenue Advisory Board that was created last year. (http://drpt.virginia.gov/media/2214/final-rab-report-to-ga.pdf)
This is not a mere study that will collect dust on the shelf. Action is needed! This whole effort was spurred by an impending crisis for transit capital. Transit capital is anything really that is not operations including bus replacements, technology, replacement facilities such as shelters, and of course, expansions for new routes and service.
You may wonder why this is happening. There are several reasons but primarily ten years ago the state authorized bonds to fund transportation and now those bonds are maturing and the bond revenue will cease beginning in 2019. After that, new revenue sources will need to be tapped or localities will need to step up to cover the state’s share or possibly cut service. And we all know that is a heavy lift! And at the same time we have a funding crisis for WMATA, Metro’s parent organization.
Right now we are in the thick of a busy campaign season but after Election Day on November 7th, we will want to educate the winning candidates on what is at stake with transit. VTA will be reaching out to the statewide and new House members on the issue but we also know that our activists often have more contact at the local level. We ask that you help us to advocate for transit funding whenever and wherever you find yourself in contact with decision-makers. We have produced transit overviews for all areas of the state that should help you with talking points. Please review them here
We are setting the stage at this point for the 2018 General Assembly session. (Transit Legislative Advocacy Day is Monday, January 22!) Our Transit Action Network activists will be invited to join us at the state capitol to visit their legislators. We also ask that you serve as transit ambassadors in your community. You have VTA’s commitment that we will provide you with the information and tools you will need to feel knowledgeable and empowered to speak out. Public transportation is critical to Virginia’s future and we acknowledge and thank you for joining VTA’s efforts to serve as its voice when it matters most.
Whether as an armchair e-Activist or in person, we need your help in telling the story of why transit matters. Please sign up for our Transit Action Network today! If you can recruit co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family too, it would go a long way toward helping us to build our transit strength!
Yours in transit,
Lisa Guthrie, Executive Director
Virginia Transit Association
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