During my 32 years of service as a County supervisor, our transportation system has dramatically expanded to accommodate the growth in our county. Prince William County (PWC) has over 427,000 residents and continues to grow at an alarming rate.
In order to combat commuter problems associated with growth, the I-95 HOV lanes have been expanded, commuter lots were built and expanded and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) was created. PRTC, an intra-county and commuter bus system, transports approximately 14,000 passengers daily. The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) was also established and currently carries approximately 20,000 passengers daily to their jobs. As District Supervisor, past commissioner and current Chairman of PRTC and serving on the VRE Board, I remain committed to ensure that each of these transit options are affordable and convenient to the residents of the Neabsco District and PWC.
Transportation within PWC has also been affected. Our County is the only county in the Commonwealth of Virginia that builds its own roads. The Prince William Department of Transportation undertakes road projects that have been approved by County voters as part of a road bond referendum. Voter approval allows the County to sell bonds in order to establish funding for projects. Projects are suggested by citizens, the Board of County Supervisors, the Police Department, and County staff. Each project is selected based on improvements to road safety and traffic congestion issues. This has alleviated traffic congestion within the County, but still does not address the commute time from PWC out to the Metropolitan area.
Although we have made great strides in lessening traffic congestion, other methods and methodologies need to be considered especially since 2/3rds of county residents commute to jobs outside of PWC. Some options being considered are bringing more businesses to PWC so residents can work where they live and the development of Work Force Development Centers. Residents would be able to utilize these facilities to work remotely within PWC borders. The possibility of a Metrorail extension to the Woodbridge area would also further reduce congestion.
The climate of transportation is evolving and I look forward to working with the local, State and Federal governments along with the citizens of PWC to eliminate commuter congestion in our County.