Transportation Committee (Senate)

Senate Transportation Committee

Summary

Meets on: Thursday at 15 minutes after adjournment in Senate Room 3, The Capitol

MembersDave Marsden (Chair) –  Jennifer Boysko – John Cosgrove – Bill DeSteph – Adam Ebbin – Barbara Favola – Jennifer McClellan – Jeremy McPike – Steve Newman – Mark Obenshain – Mark Peake – Todd Pillion – Lionell Spruill – Dave Suetterlein – Scott Surovell

(8 Democrats and 7 Republicans)

Subcommittees: None

News

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Note: Details on bills passed below are in the Heading “Bills passed”

  • SB 1126 Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads; change in membership.
  • SB 1136 License plates, special; repeals issuance of certain plates.
  • SB 1144 Aircraft civil; registration and licensing.
  • SB 1160 Removal of vehicles involved in accidents; lien of keeper of vehicles.
  • SB 1212 New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Authority; creation of authority in Planning District 4.
  • SB 1214 Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; repeals effective date for creation of Authority.
  • SB 1229 License plates, special; issuance for supporters of Ducks Unlimited, fees.
  • SB 1253 Access roads to economic development sites; criteria for use of funds.
  • SB 1259 Virginia Highway Corporation Act; alteration of certificate of authority, powers and duties of SCC.
  • SB 1260 Transportation purposes; entry onto land for inspection.
  • SB 1277 Motor Vehicles, Department of, and Supreme Court of Virginia; repeals reporting requirement.
  • SB 1329 Summons; promises to appear after issuance.
  • SB 1335 Learner’s permits; use of personal communication devices, restrictions.
  • SB 1350 Transportation funding; statewide prioritization process, resiliency.
  • SB 1470 Vehicle registration; special communication needs indicator.
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Transportation 2021 Committee Hearings
Virginia Senate Live Session Video Stream

Standing Committee: 1/20 1/21 1/28 1/29 2/3 2/11 2/18

Should Virginia bus systems go fare free forever?
Virginia Mercury, Wyatt Gordon April 6, 2021 (Medium)

When the General Assembly created the Transit Rider Incentive Program (TRIP) as part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s 2020 transportation omnibus, the lion’s share of the funding was allocated to support new regional bus routes. With COVID’s cancellation of much commuter service across the commonwealth, those dollars are now being dedicated to TRIP’s secondary goal: fare free transit pilot projects.

With large localities like Lynchburg, Roanoke, Alexandria, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Fairfax County now expressing interest in eliminating bus fares for at least three years, could the shift to zero fares in Virginia become permanent?

Nearly every transit system in the commonwealth dropped fares last year as a public health measure in response to COVID, but until recently none had announced intentions to make that move to protect riders and operators more permanent. Based on the responses to a request for ideas DRPT issued to transit providers last fall, the list of bus systems seeking to stay fare free beyond the pandemic could soon grow substantially longer.

Greenway Tolls Bill Advances; Reid Bill Dropped
Renss Greene February 19, 2021 (Short)

Subramanyam’s bill and its Senate twin, Sen. John J. Bell (D-13)’s Senate Bill 1259, have many elements of bills introduced and killed every year since Subramanyam’s predecessor David I. Ramadan held office. This year, it enjoys the broadest support among Loudoun’s state delegation of any bill of its type in that time, and is now headed to the Senate floor, possibly for a final vote. The Senate bill has already passed both chambers. One of its co-patrons, Sen. Jennifer B. Boysko (D-33), serves on the Senate transportation committee.

However, the bill still faces some opposition from the Greenway’s powerful lobbying firm, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, and lawmakers sympathetic to the Australia-based multinational firm that owns the Greenway, Atlas Arteria.

The bill seeks to create measurable standards for evaluating whether proposed toll increases would discourage use of the highway—something many Loudouners say is already happening, as they avoid Greenway tolls when they can. Under the law governing the Greenway, toll increases should not discourage use.

About

From Senate Rules: “A Committee on Transportation, 15 Senators, to consider matters concerning airports; airspaces; airways; the laws concerning motor vehicles relating to rules of the road or traffic regulations; heliports; highways; port facilities; public roads and streets; transportation safety; public waterways; railways; seaports; transportation companies or corporations; and transportation public utilities. Any matter relating to rules of the road or traffic regulations which include a change in a penalty shall be rereferred by the Committee to the Committee for Courts of Justice.”.

Web

VA Legislative Information Systems (LIS)

Bills in committee   

(none at this time)

Bills reported out 

SB 1098 Unmanned aircraft; exempts an owner from the requirement to register.

SB 1136 License plates, special; repeals issuance of certain plates. Repeals the authorizations for issuance of special license plates no longer issued due to low plate sales, expired authorizations, or inability to issue.

SB 1144 Aircraft civil; registration and licensing. If a civil aircraft has to be registered with the Department of Aviation, credit can be given for the tax paid.

SB 1160 Removal of vehicles involved in accidents; lien of keeper of vehicles. Modernizes the removal and appraisal process of vehicle involved in accidents.

SB 1212 New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Authority; creation of authority in Planning District 4. Creates a new railway passenger line to be established  and regularly run in the New River Valley.

SB 1214 Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; repeals effective date for creation of Authority.Repeals the contingent effective date for the creation of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

SB 1229 License plates, special; issuance for supporters of Ducks Unlimited, fees. Authorizes the existing special license plates for supporters of Ducks Unlimited to become revenue-sharing special license plates.

SB 1253 Access roads to economic development sites; criteria for use of funds. Directs the Commonwealth Transportation Board, in consultation with the Secretaries of Transportation and Commerce and Trade, to develop criteria to be used in the award of funds for access roads to economic development sites.

SB 1259 Virginia Highway Corporation Act; alteration of certificate of authority, powers and duties of SCC. Requires the financial fitness of an individual to be reviewed when applying to operate on the roadway.

SB 1260 Transportation purposes; entry onto land for inspection. Requires a 30 day notice in advance of inspection of property.

SB 1263 Bicycles; permits operators to treat a stop sign as a yield sign in certain situations.

SB 1277 Motor Vehicles, Department of, and Supreme Court of Virginia; repeals reporting requirement. Repeals the reporting requirement to the Department of Motor Vehicles and Supreme Court of Virginia for fees and fines collected.

SB 1329 Summons; promises to appear after issuance. Eliminates the requirement that a promise to appear be completed after the issuance of a summons for a misdemeanor traffic offense.

SB 1335 Learner’s permits; use of personal communication devices. Eliminates the provision prohibiting a holder of a learner’s permit to operate a vehicle while using a wireless communication device.

SB 1350 Transportation funding; statewide prioritization process, resiliency. Requires them to look at the resiliency of a six year project before approval.

SB 1470 Vehicle registration; special communication needs indicator. Expands eligibility of the special communication needs indicator on a vehicle’s registration.

SB 1474 Nonrepairable and rebuilt vehicles; extends sunset provision relating to certain requirements.

Bills Passed

SB 1126 Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads; change in membership.Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads; membership. Adds a member of the House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House, and a member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, to the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads. Such legislative members must represent districts that include certain cities in the Hampton Roads region. The bill also requires that nonlegislative citizen members of the Commission appointed by the Governor have experience in one of the following fields: transit, transportation, or land use planning; management of transit, transportation, or other public sector operations; public budgeting or finance; corporate communications; government oversight; or state or local government. The new qualifications do not affect the appointment of any current members of the Commission until the expiration of their terms.

SB 1136 License plates, special; repeals issuance of certain plates.Special license plates; removal. Repeals the authorizations for issuance of special license plates no longer issued due to low plate sales, expired authorizations, or inability to issue. In addition, the bill directs the revenue shared for previous issuances and renewals and future renewals of Kids Eat Free special license plates to the Division of Community Nutrition at the Virginia Department of Health.

SB 1144 Aircraft civil; registration and licensing. Aircraft; registration and licensing. Clarifies that if a civil aircraft is required to be registered with the Department of Aviation, current law allows the owner a credit against the tax paid for such registration for similar taxes paid in another state.

SB 1160 Removal of vehicles involved in accidents; lien of keeper of vehicles.Vehicles; liens; abandoned vehicles; removing vehicles involved in accidents. Modernizes and improves enforcement of mechanics’ and storage liens by (i) transferring notification and auction posting requirements to the Department of Motor Vehicles (the Department); (ii) allowing for independent appraisals to establish accurate vehicle values; (iii) expanding vehicle owner searches to other states and requiring the Department to notify owners in those states; and (iv) creating a limited process for relinquishing mechanics’ and storage liens. The bill permits out-of-state requesters to obtain Virginia vehicle information for mechanics’ or storage lien or abandoned vehicle enforcement in their states, and clarifies disposal rights, auction requirements, and titling documentation for abandoned vehicles. The Department is authorized to collect administrative fees to cover the expenses associated with these duties. The bill also provides that an entity acting at the direction of law enforcement or the Department of Transportation to remove a vehicle or cargo after an accident shall not be liable for damages or claims resulting from exercise of authority, provided that the entity acted reasonably.

SB 1212 New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Authority; creation of authority in Planning District 4. New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Authority; creation. Authorizes the creation of a regional passenger rail station authority in Planning District 4 to assist in the creation and maintenance of passenger rail in the region. The authority would be authorized to enter into revenue sharing agreements and to issue revenue bonds. The authority would be governed by a board consisting of members of each participating locality and institution of higher education. This bill is identical to HB 1893.

SB 1214 Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; repeals effective date for creation of Authority. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; effective date. Repeals the contingent effective date for the creation of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Such contingency has been met. The bill is a recommendation of the Code Commission.

SB 1229 License plates, special; issuance for supporters of Ducks Unlimited, fees. Special license plates; DUCKS UNLIMITED. Authorizes the existing special license plates for supporters of Ducks Unlimited to become revenue-sharing special license plates. From each fee collected from registrations over 1,000, $15 shall be deposited into a special account to be paid annually to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., to support its wetlands and waterfowl habitat programs in Virginia.

SB 1253 Access roads to economic development sites; criteria for use of funds. Funds for access roads to economic development sites; criteria for use of funds. Directs the Commonwealth Transportation Board, in consultation with the Secretaries of Transportation and Commerce and Trade, to develop criteria to be used in the award of funds for access roads to economic development sites. The criteria shall take into account job creation, capital investment, and other relevant economic development considerations.

SB 1259 Virginia Highway Corporation Act; alteration of certificate of authority, powers and duties of SCC. Virginia Highway Corporation Act; alteration of certificate of authority; powers and duties of the State Corporation Commission. Requires any application for a transfer, extension, or amendment of a certificate of authority issued under the Virginia Highway Corporation Act to include information demonstrating the financial fitness of the entity applying to operate the roadway. The bill requires an applicant for a toll increase to provide a forward-looking analysis return that will be reviewed by the Department of Transportation that demonstrates that the proposed rates will be reasonable to the user in relation to the benefit obtained, not likely to materially discourage use of the roadway, and provide the operator no more than a reasonable return. The bill also prohibits the State Corporation Commission from authorizing a toll increase if these criteria are not met or if the proposed increase is for more than one year. The bill requires an operator to receive approval from the Commission prior to refinancing any existing debt. This bill is identical to HB 1832.

SB 1260 Transportation purposes; entry onto land for inspection. Entry onto land for inspection. Requires that for any project wherein the power of eminent domain may be exercised, any locality or the Commissioner of Highways shall provide a landowner with a request to enter and inspect property at least 30 days in advance. The request must be on official letterhead and shall notify the landowner that even if permission is withheld, the locality or the Commissioner of Highways will be permitted to enter the property on the proposed date. Current law requires the locality or the Commissioner of Highways to send a request to enter and inspect the property and, if written permission is not received within 15 days, a subsequent notice of intent to enter with the date on which the locality or the Commissioner of Highways will be entering the property.

SB 1277 Motor Vehicles, Department of, and Supreme Court of Virginia; repeals reporting requirement. Repeal of reporting requirement; Department of Motor Vehicles and Supreme Court of Virginia. Repeals an enactment clause that requires the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Supreme Court of Virginia to submit an annual report regarding the implementation of a program to allow the Department to collect certain fees and fines on behalf of a district or circuit court.

SB 1329 Summons; promises to appear after issuance. Promises to appear after the issuance of a summons. Eliminates the requirement that a promise to appear be completed after the issuance of a summons for a misdemeanor traffic offense. The bill provides that an accused shall be released from custody after a summons has been issued.

SB 1335 Learner’s permits; use of personal communication devices, restrictions. Learner’s permits; use of personal communications device. Eliminates the provision prohibiting a holder of a learner’s permit to operate a vehicle while using a wireless communication device. Such provision was specific only to the holder of a learner’s permit. Under a different current law, all drivers, including those with a learner’s permit, are prohibited from holding a personal communications device while operating a vehicle.

SB 1350 Transportation funding; statewide prioritization process, resiliency. Transportation projects; resiliency. Requires the Commonwealth Transportation Board to determine whether a project has been designed to be or the project sponsor has committed that the design will be resilient when evaluating projects for the Six-Year Improvement Program and consider resiliency when establishing the Statewide Transportation Plan. The bill also requires the Commissioner of Highways to ensure resiliency is incorporated into the design standards for new construction projects. This bill is identical to HB 2071.

SB 1470 Vehicle registration; special communication needs indicator. Vehicle registration; special communication needs indicator. Expands eligibility for a special communication needs indicator on a vehicle registration to vehicle owners whose vehicle is regularly occupied by an individual who has a disability that can impair communication. Current law authorizes those vehicle owners who have a disability that can impair communication to apply for such an indicator. The bill authorizes the removal of such indicator by request in writing to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This bill is identical to HB 1960.

Commissions and Boards

Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

Source: Website

Specializing in the improvement of highway safety, the Commission on VASAP is dedicated to implementing strategies and processes that result in a permanent change in behavior. The ASAP system is composed of 24 local programs who provide services throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority

Source: Webpage

The Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority (the Authority) is established as a body politic and corporate, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Authority shall have the powers and duties hereinafter conferred in this chapter.The primary purpose of the Authority is to improve the transportation into, from, within, and throughSouthwest Virginia, assist in regional economic development, and generally enhance highway safety inthe affected localities. The Coalfields Expressway, designated as U.S. Route 121 and a Congressional High Priority Corridor, is a proposed four-lane, limited-access highway to provide a modern, safe, and efficient transportation artery through the coalfields region of far Southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia.The proposed expressway is designed to provide safe and rapid access to communities along the corridor, with interchanges connecting citizens of Pound, Clintwood, Clinchco, Haysi, Breaks, Grundy,and Slate. It is hereby further declared that the foregoing is a public purpose and use for which public moneys may be spent and such activity will serve a public purpose in providing jobs to the citizens of the Commonwealth.The exercise of the powers granted by this chapter shall be in all respects for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, particularly the affected localities, for the increase of their commerce and for the promotion of their safety, health, welfare, convenience, and prosperity.

Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission

Source: Website

Comprised of locally elected officials, the commission has the organizational structure and leadership in place to determine how new regional money, approximately $200 million annually, will be invested in transportation projects.

Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact Commission

Source: Webpage

Coordinate efforts to establish high-speed rail service at the federal, state, and local government levels

Interstate 81 Committee

Source: Webpage

Creates an Interstate 81 Committee, tasked with developing and updating a program related to Interstate 81 Corridor safety and improvements, and creates an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund (Fund). 3. That the Interstate 81 Committee (the Committee) created by this act shall review the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan adopted by the Commonwealth Transportation Board on December 5, 2018, as it relates to funding options for improvements to the Interstate 81 corridor and the prioritization of projects in the Interstate 81 corridor. The Committee shall conduct regional public meetings on options for funding and improvements and seek input from the public and stakeholder organizations. The Committee shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 15, 2019, regarding its recommendations for funding and prioritization of projects.

Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability

Source: Webpage

The Commission exists to make performance reviews of operations of state agencies with transportation responsibilities to ascertain that sums appropriated have been or are being expended for the purposes for which they were made and to evaluate the effectiveness of programs in accomplishing legislative intent.

Northern Virginia Transportation Authority

Source: Website

Prepare a regional transportation plan for Planning District Eight to include transportation improvements of regional significance and those improvements necessary or incidental thereto and shall from time to time revise and amend the plan.

Northern Virginia Transportation Commission

Source: Website

Manage and control the functions, affairs, and property of the Northern Virginia Transportation District.

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission

Source: Webpage

Manage and control the functions, affairs and property of the Potomac Rappahannock Transportation District.

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      Scott Joy
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    • #26797
      Samuel Strathmann
      Participant

      I think SB 1212, expansion of rail systems in the New River Valley, is good thing. This connects residents of western Virginia to other areas of the state.

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