VRE to Gainesville/Haymarket… or not?
Did you get an invitation to the VDOT public open house and workshop for the VRE Gainesville-Haymarket Feasibility Study & Alternatives Analysis on July 30 (details below)…
Prince William has imposed an extra 2% tax on local gasoline sales to finance our contribution to VRE, which is one reason Prince William’s gas prices are often higher than in Fauquier and Warren counties.
The Virginia Railway Express Gainesville/Haymarket Implementation Plan presumes that we should spend big bucks (think $200-300 million for infrastructure, plus more annually for operational costs) to extend commuter rail. The alternative is to focus on improving service on the current lines, running trains more often and offering greater reliability.
Even if you think more is better, we should at least recognize that we have a choice on deciding how far is far enough.
Extending VRE across Route 29 all the way to Haymarket invites people from Fauquier and Warren counties to drive to the commuter station and hop the train. However, those counties do not pay for VRE; there’s no payment to VRE based on a 2% gas tax.
Any VRE expansion plan to Haymarket that is not synchronized with an expansion of funding partners is an invitation for non-residents to drive to Haymarket and get a subsidized train ride, courtesy of PW County taxpayers (and taxpayers in other counties/cities that are paying their fair share).
Expanding VRE to Haymarket might make a lot of sense if you live in Warrenton or Front Royal, but is this a smart strategy for Prince William?
Might make more sense to stop the VRE extension east of Route 29, near University Boulevard. That would improve service for current residents on Linton Hall Road, and for future residents at Innovation Town Center and the proposed developments at Brentswood/Latsios properties, without inviting further sprawl into the Rural Crescent or adjacent counties.
Here’s a copy of the invitation:
You’re Invited to the first
for the VRE Gainesville-Haymarket-Feasibility
Study & Alternatives Analysis
ASK QUESTIONS! LEARN! SHARE!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Stonewall Jackson High School
8820 Rixlew Lane • Manassas, VA 20109
6:30-7:00 p.m. Open House
7:00 p.m. Presentation & Public Discussion
9:00 p.m. Close