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Torian Seeks to Bring Metrorail to Prince William

January 13, 2012

By Amir Vera
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Since he was elected to the Virginia House, Delegate Luke Torian, D-Dumfries, has been pushing to bring Metrorail service to Prince William County.

During the 2010 legislative session, he sponsored House Bill 1313, which would have created the Prince William County Metrorail Improvement District “to provide a means of financing an extension of commuter rail service from Fairfax County into Prince William County.” That bill died in the House Appropriations Committee.

During the 2011 legislative session, Torian sponsored House Bill 2238 with the same purpose. It died in the House Transportation Committee.

But Torian isn’t giving up. This week, he introduced the legislation again – as House Bill 407. It has been referred to the House Transportation Committee for consideration.

Torian said the previous proposals languished because of misunderstandings by some legislators.

“That’s a challenge just to have them understand. We’re not asking them for any money; we’re just asking to allow the process to move forward with the study,” he said.

That study would address how the Metrorail service would be funded and constructed in Prince William County. Torian represents the 52nd House District, which includes part of the county.

Torian said Prince William County needs Metrorail service because of its ever-expanding population and the growing number of commuters.

“Right now, Prince William County has over 411,000 residents, and commuting is a big part of our community,” Torian said.

“We believe that in the future, in order to tackle some of the congestion that we have now, a Metrorail would be a great option to have available for us. We are taking the necessary steps: We want to do a study first, and then try to get stakeholders on board to support this vision for Metrorail in Prince William County.”

Besides getting the study, the project would need funding from four different entities: businesses in the county, as well as local, state and federal governments.

“It’s going to be a challenge. For example, if we had our ideal situation and we had everyone buying in, given the economic climate, it would be difficult to have the funding now,” Torian said. “But we’re not looking at funding now. We’re just looking at a study process, getting stakeholders on board, and we’ll deal with funding mechanisms later on down the road.”

How to contact Delegate Luke Torian  

You can email Delegate Luke Torian at DelLTorian@House.virginia.gov. His phone number in Richmond is 804-698-1052. The number for his district office in Dumfries is 703-785-2224.