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Posted at 5:54 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Bill to combine NoVa agencies tabled

By Jennifer Buske

A bill that would have consolidated three major Northern Virginia transportation organizations into one is off the table for this General Assembly session, Prince William County officials said Tuesday.

Del. Dave Albo's (R- Fairfax) bill to merge the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Potomac Rappahannock Transportation Commission and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority was sent to a study committee for further review after several jurisdictions and transportation officials voiced concerns about the proposal.

"Why break something that is working well," said Kala Quintana, public outreach director for the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. "This is something that may look good on paper by someone who doesn't have a fundamental knowledge of how we all work...but these are very different" agencies.

Albo said the bill followed a recommendation made by the governor's restructuring and reform committee. Combining three organizations into one, Albo said, would save more and improve efficiency.

"There are just too many cooks in the kitchen so what this bill attempts to do is make one organization responsible for transportation," Albo said explaining why he proposed the bill. "To me the most important thing is you would have one place to go to get something done."

Transit officials had argued that the three agencies have very different missions and responsibilities. All the work each does would still need to be completed, so it is unlikely any money would be saved. Agencies and government officials also had concerns about legal issues as each organization has different property, equipment, debt and finance obligations.

By Jennifer Buske  | February 1, 2011; 5:54 PM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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