High-speed rail: Surovell Appointed to Commission

April 21, 2016

Source: Mary Ann Barton | Greater Alexandria Patch

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA -- State Sen. Scott Surovell (D – 36) was appointed Wednesday to the Virginia High Speed Rail Commission.

Established in 1999, the commission’s goal is to educate and advocate for the expansion of fast, frequent and reliable rail service linking the Commonwealth of Virginia to the East Coast. The Virginia High Speed Rail Commission is comprised of a variety of individuals who "show a dedication for bringing fast and efficient transportation to Virginia. High speed rail offers the Commonwealth tremendous opportunity economic development and more efficient development," according to a news release from Surovell's office announcing his appointment to the commission.

"Since travelling to Taiwan several years ago and riding on their high speed rail system, I have been convinced that bringing high speed rail to the Norfolk-Richmond-DC Corridor would have tremendous benefits for our Commonwealth," Surovell said. "In Taiwan, you can travel the distance of D.C. to New York in 90 minutes for $30. Such a system in our area would be transformative."

Since his election to the House of Delegates in 2009, Senator Surovell has been a strong advocate for efficient transit in Virginia, specifically along the Route 1 Corridor. In 2011, he and former Sen. Toddy Puller secured $2 million dollars to fund the Route 1 Multimodal Study to bring high quality transit to the Route 1 Corridor. This study concluded in 2015 and recommended a 14-mile median dedicated bus rapid transit system and two-stop extension of the Yellow Line to Hybla Valley.

This past session, Surovell introduced Senate Joint Resolution 84 requesting that the Department of Rail and Public Transportation implement a study to identify and advance potential enhanced transit from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station to Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William County and Stafford including the extension of the Blue Line. The study was to be continued into 2017 session.

“I am honored to be appointed to this Commission,” Surovell stated. “Since being elected back in 2009, I have made improving transportation along the U.S. 1 Corridor a top priority. With this appointment, I now have the opportunity to not only help the 36th District, but the entire Commonwealth. Virginia has one of the highest commute times in the nation due to the sheer volume of traffic. I believe that by exploring other options such as high-speed rail, we will be able to ease the congestion and reduce our citizens’ commute so that they cans spend more time at home and with their families.”