Northern Virginia Transportation Authority

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Logo of the NVTA

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is a regional governmental entity established to plan, prioritize and fund regional transportation programs. The NVTA covers Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.

The Authority is responsible for long range transportation project planning, prioritization and funding for regional transportation projects in Northern Virginia. The NVTA’s policies and priorities are guided by two overarching goals: reduce congestion and move the greatest number of people in the most cost-effective manner. These two goals are combined with performance-based criteria such as the ability to improve travel times, reduce delays, connect regional activity centers, and improve safety and air quality. The Authority works toward regional consensus when setting regional transportation policies and priorities for transportation projects. The Authority is also charged with developing and updating the long range regional transportation plan for Northern Virginia, currently TransAction 2040.


The Virginia General Assembly created the NVTA in 2002. It is led by an appointed governing board with 14 voting members and two non-voting members. As a part of a 2007 comprehensive transportation legislative package, the new tax sources became available to the NVTA, including taxes from increasing the initial vehicle registration fee, a local vehicle-repair tax, an additional transient-occupancy tax, and a local rental-car transportation tax. The transportation package also authorized local governments to impose a real estate property tax surcharge to help fund the NVTA. Funds raised from such surcharges would be earmarked to be spent on pet political projects in each locality.

On February 29, 2008, the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the 2007 transportation law was unconstitutional, in response to a case filed by State Del. Robert G. Marshall and numerous other residents. The Court ruled that the General Assembly could not delegate its taxing powers to an unelected body.[1] On March 3, 2008, the NVTA announced the end to the collection of its fees and taxes and its intent to refund the taxes that had been collected since January 1, 2008.[2]

On March 24, 2008, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine signed a law to authorize refunds of the estimated $13 million in fees collected by the NVTA since January 1, 2008.[3]

On April 3, 2013, the Virginia General Assembly approved the final version of House Bill 2313 (HB 2313). This legislation established a dedicated, sustainable funding stream for transportation in Northern Virginia and allows the Authority to begin fulfilling its mission to address regional transportation challenges. HB 2313 separated these funds into “70% Regional Revenue,” which is allocated by the Authority for regional transportation projects; and “30% Local Distribution Revenue,” which is distributed to jurisdictions for their transportation projects and purposes.

Members and committees[edit]

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has seventeen members as follows: the chief elected official, or his/her designee, of the nine cities and counties that are members of the Authority; two members of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House; one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and two citizens who reside in counties and cities embraced by the Authority, appointed by the Governor. In addition, the Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, or his/her designee; the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner, or his/her designee; and the chief elected officer of one town in a county which the Authority embraces serve as non-voting members of the Authority.

The NVTA has two statutory committees: Planning Coordination Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee.

The NVTA has three standing committees: Finance Committee, Governance and Personnel Committee and Planning and Programming Committee.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Marshall v. Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Retrieved 2006-03-06.
  2. ^ Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  3. ^ Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  4. ^ "Members & Committees". Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 13, 2015.