DRPT in the News

DRPT in the News

DRPT promotes the agency’s mission, responds to inquiries from journalists about rail and public transportation in Virginia, and coordinates media events.

Media contact:
Amy Friedenberger
amy.friedenberger@drpt.virginia.gov
804-573-5270

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered below, e-mail the media contact or drptpr@drpt.virginia.gov.

DRPT’s Open Data Portal is a good place to start. It houses key information, including financial reports, transit ridership data and other performance metrics, geospatial data, and information public transportation and rail projects.

What is DRPT’s organizational structure?

DRPT’s executive team is led by the agency’s Director. The Director reports to the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary is responsible for developing and implementing Virginia’s transportation program, which includes policy and financial oversight for seven agencies.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) is a 17-member panel appointed by the Governor that meets monthly. DRPT’s Director is an ex-officio member of the board. The CTB approves the state transportation budget each year. The budget allocates funding for transit agencies and rail projects.

DRPT’s partners include 40 transit systems, 79 human service operators, 17 transportation demand management agencies, 15 metropolitan planning organizations, nine short line railroads, two Class I freight railroads, an intercity passenger rail operator, a DRPT-supported intercity bus operator, and the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority.

What is DRPT responsible for?

DRPT’s mission is to connect and improve the quality of life for all Virginians with innovative transportation solutions. The agency works with rail and public transportation stakeholders to provide service to people throughout Virginia and promotes transportation options to the general public, businesses, and community decision makers. DRPT manages programs and initiatives that support freight investments, administer public transportation funding and planning, and manage investments in local and regional commuter assistance programs.

DRPT publishes an annual report each year about what is happening at the agency. Those can be viewed on its Studies and Reports page.

What is the difference between DRPT and the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA)?

The 2020 General Assembly created VPRA to promote, sustain, and expand the availability of passenger and commuter rail service as well as to increase ridership by connecting population centers in Virginia with service and increase the availability of such service. VPRA’s authorities include assigning outside parties the rights to design and build infrastructure and administering funding; however, it does not operate passenger rail services. DRPT is responsible for statewide planning for passenger rail services. Essentially, DRPT determines where Virginia will build passenger rail services, and VPRA will deliver on building and maintaining those services.

The DRPT Director serves as the Chair of the VPRA Board of Directors.

How is DRPT funded?

Unlike many Virginia state agencies, DRPT is not supported by general funds. The primary state tax transportation revenue sources are: the motor fuel tax, motor vehicles sale and use tax, motor license fees, motor vehicle rental tax, and recordation taxes. DRPT also receives formula funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and frequently applies for discretionary funding from the FTA and the Federal Railroad Administration.

What is the Six-Year Improvement Plan?

The program, referred to as the SYIP, is the method for allocating funds for rail, public transportation, and highway projects. The CTB reviews the SYIP each year. Working with localities, it prioritizes funds for public transportation facilities, commuter and public transportation programs, rail initiatives, and all interstate and primary highway projects throughout Virginia over six fiscal years. DRPT publishes the SYIP on its Open Data Portal.

What is transit ridership in Virginia?

DRPT’s Open Data Portal houses transit ridership data for transit agencies in Virginia. DRPT updates the data each quarter.

What public transportation and rail projects are happening in Virginia?

DRPT’s Open Data Portal includes information about public transportation and rail projects that have received state funding.

Where can people who want to use public transportation find information about their options?

DRPT created the Virginia Transportation Navigator to provide complete information about transportation services in Virginia. The Transportation Navigator is Virginia’s most thorough directory of public transit, human service, and specialized transportation providers, programs, and services. People can use the Navigator on DRPT’s homepage.

How can I find where railroad tracks are? Who owns [this stretch of railroad track]? Where are the rail crossings?

DRPT’s Open Data Portal has a geospatial page where users can identify railroad tracks in Virginia and who owns them.

The Federal Railroad Administration maintains a highway-rail grade crossing database and map that can be viewed on its website.

Does DRPT investigate train crashes?

In Virginia, freight rail accidents are investigated by the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The SCC can be reached at sccinfo@scc.virginia.gov.

Press Releases

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