Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman To Receive Virginia Transit Association Award


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

May 9, 2005

 

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman
To Receive Virginia Transit Association Award

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly will receive the Virginia Transit Association Outstanding Contribution by a Public Official award in recognition of his support of public transit in Fairfax County and throughout the metropolitan Washington region. The award will be presented at the association’s annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va. on Tuesday, May 10.

Connolly was nominated for the award because of the advancements made in public transit under his leadership. As part of his duties as both Providence District Supervisor and Board chairman, he has represented Fairfax County on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission since 1999. He currently serves as the commission’s vice chairman and as the chair of its legislative committee. Connolly also represents Fairfax County on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and is an alternate member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board. He also previously served as the council’s chairman in 2001, receiving the Elizabeth and David Scull award for regional leadership for his work in this position. Chairman Connolly is also the current president of the Virginia Association of Counties.

Connolly’s commitment to improving public transportation for the residents of Fairfax County and Northern Virginia is an integral part of his duties as Board chairman. As part of his campaign, he developed a Four-Year Transportation Plan, which laid out various transportation improvements that Fairfax County would undertake during his term as chairman. Significant among the public transit projects listed in the plan were the county’s continued support for the extension of Metrorail through Tysons Corner and out the Dulles Corridor to Loudoun County, and the September 2004 launch of the South County Bus Service Plan, which increased bus service in southern Fairfax County by approximately 40 percent and introduced “REX” – the Richmond Highway Express, offering limited-stop, rapid transit-style bus service connecting Fort Belvoir with the Huntington and King Street Metro stations.

The Four-Year Transportation Plan, which was subsequently approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, also called for a $165 million bond referendum to be put before Fairfax County voters in November 2004. Of this $165 million bond, $110 million was allocated for Fairfax County’s share of the “Metro Matters” capital renewal and improvement program. The bond passed with a record 78 percent approval rate.

Connolly was also chosen for the award based on his advocacy for stable, dedicated transit funding. On his motion, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority passed a resolution calling for the formation of a panel to study a dedicated regional revenue source to fund the operations of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. This led to the creation of a Blue Ribbon Panel which met in fall 2004 and recommended the levy of a regional one-half cent sales tax to fund Metro operations and capital needs. This would bring Metro in line with other large transit systems nationwide that can depend on dedicated funding sources rather than relying almost exclusively on jurisdictional subsidies.

Connolly has also been a strong advocate of transit-oriented development, especially in the vicinity of the Vienna Metrorail station, as a way to encourage transit ridership and leverage the significant investment that the region has made in its public transit systems.

The purpose of the Virginia Transit Association awards program is to recognize innovation and achievement by public transportation systems and to recognize efforts by individuals who provide leadership and support for public transportation in Virginia. The 2005 awards program consists of six awards:

  • Outstanding Contribution by a Public Official Award
  • Innovative Program Awards
    1.     Large System Innovations (Budget of $2 million or more)
    2.     Small System Innovations (Budget of no more than $2 million)
  • Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing Awards
    1.     Large System Marketing (Budget of $2 million or more)
    2.     Small System Marketing (Budget of no more than $2 million)
  • Outstanding Contribution by Business Award

For more information about the awards program, contact the Virginia Transit Association at 804-643-1166, TTY 711 or at www.vatransit.com. For more information about Connolly’s award, call Carol Smith, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, at 703-324-1204, TTY 711.

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS.

 


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