TAGS has been engaged in a grass roots initiative to campaign for much needed dedicated funding for transportation in Northern Virgina.
Fairfax County continues to grow, exerting pressure on our countywide transportation system. Since 1999, the Transportation Association of Greater Springfield (TAGS), a non-profit association of business and community leaders and local elected officials has worked on behalf of the community to explore local transportation needs. Our goals are to improve mobility, increase safety, and provide expanded transportation choices to enhance the quality of life for your community.
Greater Springfield has emerged from the Springfield Interchange road project, one of the largest highway construction projects in the U.S., with a price tag of $676 million which is now complete.
I-495 Capital Beltway ExpressLanes Construction is now completed. This project will provides a 14-mile, free-flowing network for buses, carpoolers and sluggers on the Capital Beltway. Two new Express lanes have been added in each direction on the I-495 beltway between the Springfield Interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road.
Throughout these challenging times, TAGS has sought and secured federal and local funding for the Springfield circulator service and transportation demonstration projects, which have helped keep Springfield residents and businesses connected. The Springfield TAGS bus (the “little green bus”) is a fixture in Springfield and continues to serve residents by linking them to the Franconia/ Springfield Metro station with major businesses and shopping centers in Greater Springfield. TAGS has also been instrumental in the development and redesign of the new South County Bus Service Plan to provide faster, more efficient and expanded service with more connections. Moving forward, TAGS will continue our commitment to work with Metro and the Fairfax Connector to act as the transportation advocate for the Greater Springfield community. We will continue to study and ascertain community’s transportation needs and advocate the best course of action.
Just as Greater Springfield was about to breath a sigh of relief with the completion of regional transportation projects, the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) announced the relocation of employees to Ft. Belvoir and the Engineer Proving Grounds (EPG). TAGS has worked to educate businesses and residents and involve them in the planning process to help ensure that a balanced transportation network was included in the final BRAC plans for EPG: bus and rail service, pedestrian and bicycle pathways, and ridesharing, to name few.
We continue to face many other challenges. As gas prices continue to rise, more Virginians are deciding to save money and fuel by taking the bus, train or Metrorail to work and other destinations. Transit ridership across the state is at record levels. Yet Virginia’s public transportation systems are struggling to maintain existing service levels due to under funding and rising fuel costs. Unfortunately, without a significant increase in state transportation funds overcrowding and service reductions will occur in the coming year. This will have a negative ripple effect beyond just transit riders. An overcrowded and eroding transit service will significantly increase traffic congestion by sending more commuters back onto the state’s already-congested roads, causing residents to waste more time and money sitting in traffic. Reduced service will hurt those elderly, disabled and transit-dependent passengers who have no other travel alternatives and, therefore, must rely on transit service to get to medical appointments or maintain employment.
TAGS will continue its efforts in the pursuit of a statewide, long-term transportation funding solution that will improve the quality of life for all Virginians.