Virginia officials to discuss 'road to the future'

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/2/2013

Officials in Virginia will meet this week for a transportation conference to discuss the state’s path in the coming years.

The three-day meeting of government and industry officials that starts Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Richmond, Va., will be themed “Road to the Future,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a news release.

The governor said the conference is an opportunity to highlight the state’s transportation funding plan approved earlier this year and to look down the road at what else needs to be done.

“After 27 years, Virginia finally has a long-term, sustainable transportation funding solution, and every corner of the commonwealth is starting to reap the benefits of safer roads, shorter commutes and increased access to public transportation,” McDonnell stated.

State lawmakers approved a five-year, $6 billion transportation funding plan during the spring. The funding initiative scrapped collection of the state’s 17.5-cent-per-gallon excise tax on gas and diesel and replaced it with a wholesale tax.

Another part of the plan increased the state’s general sales tax from 5 percent to 5.3 percent. The new money is allotted for transportation.

McDonnell said the conference will enable officials to continue to share innovative ideas and creative solutions that will benefit transportation in the state.

The conference will feature sessions that include moving goods and people, public-private partnerships, and changing attitudes towards vehicle ownership and how they affect transportation policy.

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