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:
Jayla Parker

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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October 17, 2019
Commonwealth Transportation Board Advances 31 I-81 Corridor Improvement Program Projects

October 1, 2019
October is Passenger Rail Month in Virginia

September 30, 2019
Commonwealth Transportation Board Invites Public Feedback on Transportation Programs Throughout Virginia

September 27, 2019
Public Feedback Invited on Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Study

September 27, 2019
Public Invited to Attend Second Interstate 81 Advisory Committee Meeting

September 18, 2019
Commonwealth Transportation Board Approves Funding to Accelerate Highway Safety Initiatives, Authorizes Partnership Agreement on Route 28/Dulles Toll Road Study

September 17, 2019
Commonwealth Commemorates 10 Years of Virginia-Sponsored Passenger Rail Service

September 12, 2019
Virginia’s Try Transit Week Set for September 16-20

September 10, 2019
Virginia Receives Green Light From FRA to Advance the DC2RVA Rail Project

August 20, 2019
Virginia Honored with Two America’s Transportation Awards for the Pulse Bus Rapid Transit Project, New Towing Response Program

July 10, 2019
Public Feedback Invited on Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Study

July 10, 2019
Summer Travel Season Underway, Passenger Rail Ridership in Virginia Soars

June 25, 2019
Greater Washington Partnership Celebrates Richmond’s Transit Success

June 24, 2019
Governor Northam Announces Dedication of Over $12 Million for Electric Transit Buses

June 6, 2019
Virginia, Hampton Roads Transit to explore using autonomous buses

May 9, 2019
Virginia Celebrates Bike to Work Week May 13-17

April 30, 2019
Calling All Virginians Aboard

April 25, 2019
Commute!VA Launched to Help Virginians Find Commute Options and Earn Rewards

March 5, 2019
DRPT to Host Public and Stakeholder Meetings To Identify Unmet Intercity Bus Needs

March 4, 2019
Virginia Launches Additional Amtrak Service to Norfolk

February 27, 2019
March 4-8 is Telework Week in Virginia

January 18, 2019
Additional Amtrak Service to Norfolk Begins March 4th