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Action Summary: Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Task Force Meeting

Action Summary: Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Task Force Meeting
February 29, 2012 - The Regional Board Room, 723 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia

1. CALL TO ORDER The meeting was called to order by the Chair at approximately 1:39 p.m.

2. PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Mr. Dwight Farmer noted that four HRTPO Board members will be serving on the Task Force, providing voice to Passenger Rail on the HRTPO Board.
No public comments received

3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

At the request of the Chair, Old/New Business amended with two items. One item referred to the appointment of the Task Force Chair. The other item referred to the meeting frequency and next meeting. The amended Agenda was approved.

4. Department of Rail and Public Transportation: Major Passenger Rail Initiatives

The Director of DRPT provided an overview of Major Passenger Rail Initiatives, which included:

• Statewide Passenger Rail Vision
• Richmond to Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Project ($500 million over 20 years)
o Tier I EIS under review since December 2010
o Anticipated Final EIS in March 2012 and Record of Decision shortly thereafter
• Amtrak Virginia Extension to Norfolk ($114 Million over 3 years)
o Anticipated service to start December 2012
o Whistle Stop Tour in mid December 2012 (ticket sales July 2012)
• Passenger Rail Funding mandates and initiatives
This item was for informational purposes only. The Passenger Rail Task Force took no action on this agenda item.

5. Hampton Roads Passenger Rail Study – Data Collection: Phase 2A

TEMS provided an overview of the Data Collection Study to be conducted. The study will look to collect data for the following databases:

• Market
o Stated Preference Survey (online and in-person)
o Coordination with Transit agencies and Military on ongoing survey efforts
• Engineering
• Technology
• Environmental

This item was for informational purposes only. The Passenger Rail Task Force took no action on this agenda item.

6. Passenger Rail Station Development Update

The cities of Newport News and Norfolk provided an overview of ongoing multimodal passenger rail station development efforts ongoing to support anticipated increases in ridership and new passenger rail service.

In Newport News, the two proposed stations will replace an existing Amtrak station with facility limitations and challenges. Additionally, the proposed stations will provide greater multimodal connections on the Peninsula. The presentation highlighted design and functional aspects of the new stations.

In Norfolk, the proposed Harbor Park multimodal station will support upcoming passenger rail service in December 2012 with connections to multimodal transportation options. The station development faces delays due to architectural concerns.
This item was for informational purposes only. The Passenger Rail Task Force took no action on this agenda item.

7. Passenger Rail Task Force Implementation Plan

Mr. Dwight Farmer provided an overview of draft efforts to guide the purpose of the Passenger Rail Task Force. The efforts presented were:
• Reviewing and becoming familiar with the federal rail planning process
• Monitoring federal and state legislation and Executive actions pertaining to passenger rail
• Monitoring passenger rail funding opportunities
• Assisting the HRTPO Board to position Hampton Roads to advance and implement the Hampton Roads Passenger Rail plan

Mr. Kevan Danker made the recommendation to add an effort that ‘seeks opportunities to connect and coordinate with alternative modes of transportation’. Mr. Farmer invited the public to provide comments and suggestions on the guiding efforts.

8. For Your Information

This item was for informational purposes only. The Passenger Rail Task Force took no action on this item.

9. Old/New Business

Mr. Dwight Farmer expanded upon the addition of the four HRTPO Board members to the Task Force. Mayor Paul Fraim has volunteered to serve as Chair of the Task Force.
The Task Force agreed to meet bi-monthly/quarterly, with the next meeting in the May/June timeframe.

Mr. Farmer opened the floor for additional public comment. Ms. Julie Timm of WTS noted her organization’s support to provide educational outreach. Mr. Will Christopher of Future of Hampton Roads inquired about metrics and methods to leverage public comments on the Richmond to Hampton Roads Tier I Final EIS. Ms. Thelma Drake noted to keep informed of project updates on DRPT’s website. Mr. Dwight Farmer noted to keep informed on the Passenger Rail Task Force on the HRTPO website.

ADJOURNMENT at 3:20 p.m.

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