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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: September 29, 2021
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Honored for Virginia’s Transit Investments

Historic progress includes 50 percent annual transit funding increase, $1 billion in new rail infrastructure, dedicated funding for WMATA, new trains and buses

TYSONS CORNER—Governor Ralph Northam was today honored with the Virginia Transit Association’s “Distinguished Leadership for the Commonwealth” Award on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The award was given at the Association’s annual meeting in Tysons Corner. The Northam administration has made significant investments in public transit over the past four years, including dedicated funding for WMATA and a historic $3.7 billion project to expand passenger rail across Virginia.

“I’m grateful to the Virginia Transit Association for this award, which recognizes all of the dedicated work thousands of Virginians have put in to expanding transit options in our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Our administration has taken vital steps to invest in transit and rail programs, laying the groundwork for success for years to come. To keep our growing economy humming, it’s important that Virginia transportation runs smoothly.”

“Governor Northam has been a champion of transit during his four years in office,” said Virginia Transit Association Executive Director Lisa Guthrie. “His Administration’s commitment to mobility for all Virginians, through major investments in transit systems big and small, made him the obvious candidate for this year’s Distinguished Leadership for the Commonwealth Award.”

Earlier this year, Virginia signed agreements for Transforming Rail in Virginia, a long-term plan for improving passenger rail service. More than $1 billion will be invested in additional rail infrastructure projects over the next decade.

Under Governor Northam’s administration, Virginia led an historic agreement with Maryland and Washington, D.C., to secure dedicated funding of $500 million a year for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Governor Northam signed legislation to establish dedicated regional funding for our largest transit systems—including WMATA, Hampton Roads Transit, Virginia Railway Express, and the Greater Richmond Transit Company. In 2020, Governor Northam signed an historic transportation omnibus bill that increased state funding for transit by 50 percent a year.

Virginia has used more than $16 million from the Volkswagen settlement and transit capital to invest in electric buses.

Virginia launched the Virginia Breeze, a bus line that connects Blacksburg, Martinsville, and Danville with Washington, D.C. When it launched, ridership was projected at just over 7,000. Instead, in its first year, the route served more than 19,000 riders, and Virginia Breeze is expanding its service.

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