Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 33.2. Highways and Other Surface Transportation Systems
Chapter 26. Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission
1/28/2021

§ 33.2-2600.1. Hampton Roads Regional Transit Program and Fund.

A. The General Assembly declares it to be in the public interest that developing and continuing operations of reliable regional public transportation is important for a balanced and effective multimodal transportation system in the Hampton Roads region and is essential to the region's economic growth, vitality, and competitiveness. The General Assembly further declares that a special transportation program, to be known as the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Program (the Program), should provide for the costs of developing, maintaining, and improving a core regional network of transit routes and related infrastructure, rolling stock, and support facilities that have the greatest positive impacts on economic development potential, employment opportunities, mobility, environmental sustainability, and quality of life. The goal of the Program is to provide a modern, safe, and efficient core network of transit services across the Hampton Roads region. The Program shall be incorporated into strategic plans developed pursuant to § 33.2-286 and adopted by the governing board of each transit entity and shall form the basis for the regional transit planning process coordinated by the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization.

B. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund for Planning District 23 to be known as the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Fund, referred to in this chapter as "the Regional Transit Fund." The Regional Transit Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All revenues dedicated to the Regional Transit Fund pursuant to §§ 58.1-802.5, 58.1-816, and 58.1-1743 shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Regional Transit Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Regional Transit Fund shall remain in the Regional Transit Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Regional Transit Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Regional Transit Fund.

C. The Regional Transit Fund shall be managed by the Commission, and disbursements from the Regional Transit Fund shall be approved by the Commission consistent with the regional transit planning process developed pursuant to subsection D of § 33.2-286. The moneys deposited in the Regional Transit Fund shall be used solely for (i) the development, maintenance, improvement, and operation of a core and connected regional network of transit routes and related infrastructure, rolling stock, and support facilities, to include the operation of a regional system of interjurisdictional, high-frequency bus service, in a transportation district in Hampton Roads created pursuant to § 33.2-1903 as included in the strategic plans and regional transit planning process developed pursuant to § 33.2-286 and (ii) administrative and operating expenses of the Commission as specified in subsection B of § 33.2-2605. In the allocation of funds, priority shall be given, when possible, to investments in the most sustainable and cost-effective operations, rolling stock, and facilities to reduce or eliminate reliance upon diesel fuels. Funds from the Regional Transit Fund shall not be used to support the expansion of light rail beyond the boundaries of a locality where light rail is operated on January 1, 2020. The amounts dedicated to the Regional Transit Fund shall be deposited monthly by the Comptroller into the Regional Transit Fund and thereafter distributed to the Commission as soon as practicable for use in accordance with this chapter. If the Commission determines that such moneys distributed to it exceed the amount required to meet the current needs and demands to fund transit projects pursuant to this chapter, the Commission may invest such excess moneys to the same extent and in the same manner as provided in subsection A of § 33.2-1525 for excess funds in the Transportation Trust Fund.

D. The amounts deposited into the Regional Transit Fund and the distribution and expenditure of such amounts shall not (i) be used to calculate or reduce the share of federal, state, or local revenues otherwise available to participating localities; (ii) allow a local government that is a member of the transportation district to reduce its local funding for public transportation purposes to an amount less than what was appropriated on July 1, 2019, for such purposes; or (iii) diminish or supplant allocations and appropriations from other sources or diminish allocations to which a transportation district, transit system, or locality would be entitled under any other provisions of law but shall supplement such funds to accelerate and augment transportation improvements in the Hampton Roads region. Further, such revenues and moneys shall not be included in any computation of, or formula for, a locality's ability to pay for public education, upon which appropriations of state revenues to local governments for public education are determined. Any amounts paid from the Regional Transit Fund shall be considered local funds when used to make a required match for state or federal transportation grant funds.

2020, cc. 1241, 1281.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.