RESOLUTION

A RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR A MARKET STUDY OF ENHANCED PASSENGER RAIL IN THE U.S. 29 “PIEDMONT” CORRIDOR

WHEREAS, a growing population and a burgeoning commercial explosion have helped to expand Virginia’s prosperous economy, but they have also helped to create steadily worsening problems of congestion and accessibility in its major transportation corridors; and

WHEREAS, among Virginia’s major transportation corridors, U. S. 29 North, or the “Piedmont Corridor,” represents a vital and heavily used north-south travel route between Washington, DC and Danville that serves many counties and cities in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Orange, Culpeper, Nelson, Amherst, Campbell, Pittsylvania, Fauquier and Prince William and the cities of Danville, Lynchburg and Charlottesville have a vital interest in providing their citizens with an efficient and affordable transportation alternative to access the population and commercial centers of Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Northeast; and

WHEREAS, enhanced passenger rail service in the Piedmont Corridor could be an important part of the solution to the problems of congestion, safety and environmental stresses caused by the fast increasing population in the areas adjacent to U.S. 29, I-66 and I-95; and

WHEREAS, the economies of the cities and counties of the Piedmont Corridor would greatly benefit from greater accessibility by rail that could accommodate tourists, students, business persons and others who travel on U.S. 29 to and from Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia; and

WHEREAS, communities along the corridor between Danville and Washington, DC make heavy use of the services provided by Amtrak, the limited frequency and capacity of these trains do not adequately meet the needs of most travelers who could use this passenger rail alternative.  With 20 weekly Amtrak trains, ridership is higher per scheduled train at Charlottesville’s Main Street Station than that at either Richmond or Newport News stations; and

WHEREAS, with expanded passenger rail services we believe that substantial numbers of travelers would use these services, reducing the demands placed on overcrowded highways and fuel consumption, while helping to reduce the emissions that contribute to global warming; and

WHEREAS, the potential ridership and the accompanying economic and environmental benefits of enhanced passenger rail service in the Piedmont Corridor between Danville, Lynchburg, Charlottesville and Washington, DC has not yet received the attention of the Virginia Rail Advisory Board and the Commonwealth Transportation Board that we believe is merited; and

WHEREAS, sound market research will provide a basis for determining the potential use, costs and benefits that will accrue to the citizens of Albemarle, Greene, Madison, Orange, Culpeper, Nelson, Amherst, Campbell, Pittsylvania, Fauquier and Prince William counties and the cities of Danville, Lynchburg and Charlottesville from enhanced passenger rail service; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 11th day of October 2007, That it joins the Piedmont Rail Coalition in requesting that a market study of the nature and demand for passenger rail service in the aforementioned corridor be conducted; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors strongly supports the application to the Commonwealth of Virginia to fund a valid and comprehensive survey of citizens throughout this corridor, and understands that such funding may require a local match by participating jurisdictions; and, be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That upon approval of such funding by the Commonwealth of Virginia, or at such times as it becomes necessary, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors will entertain a request to financially participate in any required local match.

                                                                                 

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