Comments: Proposed NVTC FY24-25 Work Plan

January 4, 2024

Hon. Dalia Palchik and Hon. Matt de Ferranti
Current Chair and 2024 Chair nominee
Northern Virginia Transportation Commission

Re: Proposed NVTC 2024-25 Work Plan

Chair Palchik, Board Member de Ferranti, and Board members:

The Coalition for Smarter Growth appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s (NVTC’s) proposed 2024-2025 Work Plan. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive transit-friendly communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the region to grow and prosper, and we appreciate the important work of NVTC. 

WMATA legislative and analytical support are critically important in 2024-2025

Thank you for continuing your critically important work on funding for WMATA. This past year, NVTC’s Value of Northern Virginia Transit to the Commonwealth study and story map made a powerful case why Metro and our local systems have tremendous positive impacts here and throughout Virginia. In December, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and 17 other groups from our region released a Statement of Principles for an agreement on Metro funding that continues frequent, reliable, and affordable service. We ask NVTC to push for short-term and long-term funding agreements that:

  • Eliminate the shift of capital funds to operating needs by providing sufficient public funding, avoiding service cuts and fare hikes;
  • Solve the long-term dedicated funding challenge once and for all, with a proposal by the end of this calendar year;
  • Standardize WMATA’s reporting to NVTC, the three states and the federal government. NVTC is playing a key role here;
  • Improve system efficiency through bus lanes, coordinated bus purchases, and even consolidating operating agencies. For example, with NVTC’s research, we know that the lack of bus priority and resulting delays cost Northern Virginia’s transit agencies $19 million per year.

Our coalition of stakeholders has concluded that the region should provide the additional funding necessary to fully close the $650 million WMATA operating gap remaining after they identified $100 million in cost savings. Yes, this would mean more than the $100 million you have proposed. But you have all committed to transit-oriented communities, to social equity, and to slashing greenhouse gas emissions. We have just six years to slash emissions by 50%. So, fully funding Metro’s gap and preserving frequent, reliable, affordable service is essential. We are ready to fight with you for the majority of this funding to come from the state.

Envision Route 7 

Route 7 BRT is an essential transit link in our region, and we are glad to see continued phases in the work plan. We look forward to seeing the results of the Strategic Implementation Plan. But we also urge faster movement on this project including transformation of Route 7 as a safer street for people, walking, biking and using transit.

Regional Bus Service

Equally important are dedicated bus lanes in other key corridors. We applaud NVTC’s Bus Priority report from last year and your What’s Up With the Bus Webinar last January with CSG, which is a great example of NVTC collaboration with community stakeholders, and we look forward to the results of NVTC’s Regional Bus Analysis study. We ask for your continued support for the WMATA Better Bus Initiative and that a Metro funding deal supports its full implementation, including the funding for the updated bus network.

We look forward to continuing the collaboration with NVTC in 2024.  


Stewart Schwartz
Executive Director

Sonya Breehey
Northern VA Manager

Bill Pugh
Senior Policy Fellow