Monday night, February 1, I traveled to Richmond to attend the legislative reception for the Virginia Transit Association. This year I serve as Vice-President of this organization that promotes public transportation across the Commonwealth.

Besides talking with legislators from around the state, I had several good conversations with transportation officials including the new Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation Thelma Drake and the new Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton.

While acknowledging budget difficulties, both were supportive of public transportation and were aware that Virginia could not build enough roads to solve all it’s transportation needs. We also discussed Blacksburg Transit and the scope of services offered by BT in the New River Valley and our cooperation with the Roanoke Valley.

I also talked with DRPT officials about train service and how do we connect Roanoke/Blacksburg with the Lynchburg Amtrak line that has been so successful.

While all these conversations were short and general, they are a continuation of more detailed conversations we have had in the past and good contacts with the new administration. They will be continued with the Executive branch and the Legislative.

Here is a link for more information about the Virginia Transit Association.

Here is a link to an article that talks about the success of the Lynchburg-Washington Amtrak line.