Mission & History

Home  /  About Tags  /  Mission & History

TAGS is a non-profit, public-private transportation management/advocacy association dedicated to identifying and evaluating measures and means that will collectively provide the Greater Springfield area with an effective and efficient transportation system by crafting and supporting practical solutions to transportation challenges.

History

When Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman took office in January of 1996, he had a vision of a flexible, inexpensive bus service that could ferry people from the Joe Alexander Transportation Center to Greater Springfield’s major commercial/retail area. With the Springfield Interchange Project construction taking off at the time, this service provided an alternative for people to using their cars, especially for short errand/shopping runs while connecting retail and commercial areas on both sides of I-95.

In March 1999, the Transportation Association of Greater Springfield (TAGS) was formally constituted with bylaws, elected officers, and articles of incorporation filed with the state. The Board of Directors and members were and still are comprised of business owners, community leaders and individuals associated with transportation organizations including the Virginia Department of Transportation, Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC). With the support of Congressman Moran’s efforts TAGS was granted a federal Department of Transportation award to purchase six 22-passenger buses for the exclusive use of a newly created TAGS bus route. The service shortly became an effective and convenient way of reducing congestion in the Springfield area, transporting several hundred people weekly. TAGS served to monitor and support congestion mitigation efforts associated with the I-95/395/495 interchange project and during heavy construction of the project developed the Shopper’s Shuttle Program to increase service to the business community during the holiday season.

TAGS quickly became a support system for transportation services in our community. The association has been a powerful force in the development and redesign of the new Fairfax County South County Bus Service Plan providing faster, more efficient and expanded service with more connections. Working with Employee Services Program, TAGS helps market transit services and alternative commute options to local businesses and employees and hosts programs to educate the community on transportation-related issues. TAGS outreach supports local community events such as Springfield Days, Lighting the Heart of Springfield, and the Lee district concert series.

Greater Springfield continues to grow rapidly, exerting pressure on our county and regional transportation systems. Our near term objectives are to improve mobility, increase safety, and provide expanded transportation choices to enhance the quality of life for area businesses, including employees and customers and at the same time dovetail these initiatives with the revitalization efforts in central Springfield.

Moving forward, TAGS continues our commitment to actively participate in the public process of fund allocation for transportation facilities and services and to act as the transportation advocate for businesses in Greater Springfield.

Mission Statement

To foster and support an organization dedicated to achieving a significantly improved transportation system and enhanced business environment through private and publicsector activities in the Corporation’s Area of Concern.

To identify and evaluate measures and means that will collectively provide the Association’s Area of Concern with an effective and efficient transportation system, including, but not limited to, the following activities.

1. Actively participate in the public process of allocating funds for     transportation facilities and services; and

2. Plan, fund and provide enhanced public transportation facilities and public and/or private mass transit services within or serving the Association’s Area of Concern; and

3. Reduce the transportation demand through application and coordination of transportation system management (TSM) programs, such as shuttle buses, car pools, van pools, staggered work hours, trails, sidewalks, and people movers.

Functional Areas

1. Work with transit service providers including Fairfax Connector, WMATA, VRE and OmniRide to identify needs, develop support, and assure the best possible transportation service in the Springfield area.

2. Market transit services and other alternative commute options to local employers and employees.

3. Promote the business district as a transportation center and as a destination point to do business and enjoy a diversity of restaurants.

4. Monitor and support congestion mitigation efforts associated with the I-95/395/495 interchange improvement project.

Goals

1. Improve transit services and amenities for all forms of transit and alternative commute options to, from, and within the Area of Concern.

    • Solicit suggestion for improvements to services and amenities, compile and disseminate to the membership.
    • Gather and maintain input on community interest and ability to use transit.
    • Process information acquired through methods established byTAGS and make recommendation for improvements supported by TAGS.
    • Work with service providers and government agencies/representative to implement TAGS endorsed improvements.

2. Work to reduce traffic congestion within the Area of Concern.

    • Solicit input and information from TAGS membership.   Analyze and process information acquired through TAGS.   Endorse recommendation for improvements supported by TAGS to appropriate government agencies.
    • Increase awareness of existing alternative commute options through marketing and other information dissemination initiatives.
    • Encourage employers to join TAGS and maximize use of existing programs such as the Fairfax county Employer Outreach Program, Commuter Connections, Metrochek, and Smart Traveler.
    • Promote alternative commute options by working directly with Service Providers, and government Agencies/representatives.

3. Develop and maintain an intense information program for TAGS members on transportation matters with special focus on the Area of Concern and immediate vicinity.

    • Publish a TAGS Newsletter.
    • Develop and maintain a TAGS web site.
    • Publish Action or Special Notice Bulletins.
    • Broaden the base of dissemination based on need or TAGS direction.

4. Network with service providers and government agencies to resolve issues, improve operation, and provide assistance to members and employers.

    • Assistant functional organizations maintaining the highest possible level of service to serve the area’s existing and potential riders, relieving local road congestion, especially during the interchange reconstruction.
    • Prepare a long tern plan to continue TAGS’ presence and functions based on economic development and traffic volume projects.

5. Promote activities that support improved business conditions, assure commuter access to business establishments, and generate a thriving business trade.

      • Assist or organize local community events or marketing campaigns which establish the business community as a destination point and transportation center.
      • Encourage programs that encourage job creation for professional and technical specialists.
      • Plan, develop, implement, operate, and evaluate additional programs that provide for TAGS services as the demand warrants, thus relieving government of the burden of such programs.
      • Cooperate and coordinate with jurisdictions’ and state and regional agencies’ effort to enhance private and public transportation and economic development systems in the corporation’s Area of Concern.
      • Identify and evaluate measures and means that will collectively promote the businesses in the corporation’s Area of Concern with an effective area marketing system, including, but not limited to, the following activities:

a. Active participation in the public and private process of allocating funds for promotional activities and services; and

b. Plan, Fund and provide enhanced promotional activities and events within or serving  the corporation’s Area of Concern: and

c. Increase the economic market share of the corporation’s Area of Concern through support of such programs as Springfield Days, publication of restaurant guides, publication and promotion of local tourist attractions, organizations of holiday promotional events, and support of the recruitment of new business to the area.

Plan, develop, implement, operate and evaluate additional marketing and promotional programs that provide the economic development for the corporation’s area of concern.