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Virginia launches I-66 Commuter Choice program

Governor Terry McAuliffe Sept. 20 joined the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), and state and local leaders to celebrate the launch of the first group of multimodal improvement projects under a new I-66 Commuter Choice program. These projects will play an important role in moving more people and reducing congestion on I-66 Inside the Beltway, a news release from the Governor’s Office said.

The 10 new projects, which received a total of $9.8 million from the Commonwealth, are expected to move as many as 5,000 additional people daily through the I-66 corridor. These projects are the first in a series of ongoing improvements that, along with the conversion of I-66 to Express Lanes in the peak direction during rush hours and the widening of I-66 eastbound from the Dulles Toll Road to Ballston, will help transform the I-66 Inside the Beltway corridor.

“Unlocking the traffic-choked corridors that stifle economic growth and reduce Virginians’ quality of life has been on of this administration’s top priorities,” said Governor McAuliffe speaking at today’s launch. “These new multimodal initiatives, which include new bus service and incentives to carpool or vanpool, offer commuters new options to get to work faster and smarter. I want to thank our state and local partners for working with my team and me to deliver projects that meet the needs of Virginia commuters and our economy.”

The initial projects, which will be operational before tolling begins later this year, encompass Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington counties and the City of Falls Church. Transit services include three new bus routes, increased service on two existing routes and last-mile connections to Metrorail stations. A new park-and-ride lot in Aldie will support current and future bus service. The I-66 corridor will operate more efficiently due to screens that provide real-time traveler information and transportation demand management services that provide incentives to use transit or carpools. Four projects are operational today, while the remaining six will be ready to roll out by the first toll day in December.

“Through Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, and the support of our partners, we are pleased to stand by our commitment to get the first group of multimodal improvements up and running before tolling begins on I-66 Inside the Beltway,” said Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. “These and future transit improvements working in tandem with the I-66 Express Lanes will help us relieve the congestion that impacts our quality of life and the economy, while achieving our ultimate goal of moving more people through the I-66 corridor.”

“The Commonwealth is to be commended for allowing those of us who live and commute in Northern Virginia to determine which projects will provide the greatest benefit,” said NVTC Chairman Jeffrey McKay. “As these initial projects roll out, NVTC is planning a second round of funding to provide even more relief and additional choices for commuters. Eligible jurisdictions and agencies have through December 8, 2017 to apply for funds.”

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is charged with managing the selection of multimodal projects for the I-66 Commuter Choice Program, under a 40-year agreement with the Commonwealth.

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